W.Va. Lawmakers Tackle Chemical Spills, One Pa. Town Faces a Rain Tax, and more


West Virginia lawmakers are looking into ways to prevent another chemical spill.

Some Pennsylvania resident face paying a ‘rain tax’.

A telescope in danger of closing is still making ‘far out’ discoveries.

And a West Virginia community is fixing its own water problems.

Preventing Another Chemical Spill in W.Va.: State lawmakers are responding to the chemical spill that contaminated water for more than 300,000 West Virginia American Water customers. State Senate
Majority Leader John Unger introduced a bill Thursday that would require all above ground storage facilities for liquids be registered and inspected. West Virginia Public Radio’s Cecelia Mason talked with Unger about why the legislation is needed and what it would do.


W.Va. Community Goes Five Months Without Usable Water: While hundreds of thousands of West Virginians are going days without water, a community including an elementary school has not had usable water since September. West Virginia Public Radio’s Jessica Lilly reports the flushing process is underway there but without an upgraded system customers will have to wait even longer for usable tap water.

“Rain Tax” in Pa Town: While West Virginia towns are trying to resolve tap water issues, older communities in Pennsylvania are trying to meet new federal storm water standards. New guidelines toughen the limits on how much storm water can enter into rivers and lakes. For many cities, it’s
proving expensive, especially in older communities, where water pipes are crumbling and in need of repair. Some local governments are starting to charge residents a storm water utility fee. The Allegheny Front‘s Julie Grant visited one Pennsylvania city that recently started what some call a “rain tax.”

Independent Acid Mine Cleanup in W.Va.: A community in southern West Virginia has come together to clean up the acid mine drainage that had polluted a creek there for decades, effectively choking out all  aquatic life.  As WMMT’s Parker Hobson reports, an  organization, called the Morris Creek Watershed Association came up with a homemade treatment system and members  feel that a cleaner creek has benefited their rural community.

“Far Out” Discovery From W.Va.: The National Science Foundation had recommended closing the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Pocahontas County, W.Va. and efforts have been underway to keep that from happening. In the meantime, West Virginia University is investing $1 million over the next two year to support the facility. And as West Virginia Public Radio’s Ben Adduchio reports, the telescope is still making remarkable astronomical discoveries, including one that’s being called a “puzzle” by W.V.U. astronomers.

WVU Professor Publishes Gandhi Book: Mahatma Gandhi is widely recognized as a leader of Indian nationalism in British-ruled India who employed nonviolent civil disobedience, and inspired civil rights movements across the world. A professor at West Virginia University’s College of Law recently published a book that explores a side of Gandhi most are not familiar with…his  early years as a lawyer in South Africa. As West Virginia Public Radio’s Glynis Board reports, it’s the first extensive examination of this chapter Gandhi’s life.