Acid Mine Drainage

Brittany Patterson / WVPB

A pilot-scale facility that extracts valuable rare earth elements from coal waste byproducts officially opened its doors this week at West Virginia University.

Advocates of the project are hopeful that environmental waste left by Appalachia’s coal mining legacy could one day fuel an economic boom in the region while also providing some national security.

Brittany Patterson / WVPB

On a recent sunny Wednesday, Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of West Virginia University’s Water Research Institute, was standing on a bridge looking out at Big Sandy Creek. It was a balmy afternoon, perfect for kayaking, and the creek running the Cheat River was clear. But 25 years ago, this water was a shocking orange color -- from acid mine drainage.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we bring you stories from the GOP retreat at the Greenbrier Resort and another installment of our week-long Appalachian Innovators series.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A legislative interim committee overseeing the state’s jails and prisons was updated on a bill passed this year intended to help reduce the state’s incarcerated population. Those attending an event at the Culture Center in Charleston Monday learned more about how the Export-Import Bank might help their small businesses succeed. Pollution can be catastrophic to water supplies but one Concord University art professor recycles the pollutant hails for his pottery.