Citizens Get Involved in Monitoring Pipeline Construction Regulations


On this West Virginia Morning, citizens are taking pipeline construction regulations into their own hands. We hear the latest on the Mountain Valley Pipeline and pipeline monitoring, and we hear reports on two rural hospitals and the epidemic of black lung disease.

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration announced Wednesday it would collect information on Appalachia’s worsening epidemic of black lung disease. Sydney Boles reports.

Earlier this month, two rural hospitals – one in Wheeling and one just across the river in Ohio – announced they were closing. In the following weeks, stakeholders have been meeting to discuss strategies for keeping at least part of the services the hospitals provided open – especially mental health care. Because, as Kara Lofton reports, losing a facility doesn’t just impact the community but can have ripple effects across the state. Special thanks to Corey Knollinger who contributed to this story.

Earlier in August, about a dozen citizens spent a weekend along the route of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Volunteer monitors submitted close to 60 examples of what they deemed to be permit violations by the pipeline to state environmental regulators. Citizen monitors say they’re concerned state regulators don’t have the bandwidth to effectively monitor construction across the pipeline’s 300-mile route.

Our energy and environment reporter Brittany Patterson reports that many states are grappling with pipeline monitoring. She says now citizens are getting involved.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

Our news director is Jesse Wright. Our producer is Glynis Board.