Could Grass Help Make Abandoned Strip Mines Productive?


On this West Virginia Morning, across Appalachian coal country, people are looking for productive ways to reuse land damaged by surface mining. A 2018 study found that an area roughly the size of Delaware has been mined over the years. The Ohio Valley ReSource’s Liam Niemeyer reports that some researchers see promise in fast-growing grass that can help restore damaged lands and maybe help both the economy and environment.

Also on today’s show, Clarksburg is seeing a resurgence in methamphetamine abuse. Officials there say the drug is contributing to a rise in the homeless population and it’s putting a strain on services.

Taylor Sisk is a freelance health reporter working with 100 Days in Appalachia. He wrote about how people who provide substance abuse and homelessness services are concerned that awareness of meth’s impact on the community is far lower than issues surrounding opioid abuse.

Appalachia Health Coordinator Kara Lofton spoke with Taylor about his reporting.

And a federal public health agency is launching a study that will evaluate Berkeley County residents’ exposure to the PFAS group of chemicals, which include PFOA or C8, used to make nonstick products and flame retardants. As Brittany Patterson reports, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry is seeking the public’s help with the study. 

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.