Coal Ash

Brittany Patterson/ WVPB

Coal has dominated Appalachia’s energy economy for more than a century. But natural gas is emerging as a new economic force, bringing with it jobs, infrastructure needs and new environmental concerns.

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear why some are worried about the risk of water contamination from major gas pipelines being built through parts of West Virginia, projects which also promise jobs in the region.


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear from a man who knows what it’s like to struggle and recover from drugs and alcohol. This story and more coming up on this West Virginia Morning.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear about a documentary film from a Mountain State native that's in production about life in the state's coal camps. Inside Appalachia host Jessica Lilly speaks with one of the film's producer's, Marcus Murrow.

We also hear about the dangers coal ash storage ponds pose in parts of Kentucky, as well as the Mountain Stage song of the week.

Pat Little/Associated Press

Coal ash waste from a FirstEnergy Corp. plant in Pennsylvania will be transported to the Murray Energy Corp. reclamation site near Moundsville in West Virginia. 

Little Blue Run Coal Ash Impoundment
Wiki

The U.S. Senate passed a bill today to address water infrastructure challenges. It also incorporates provisions that affect coal ash regulations.


Sen. Joe Manchin says legislation he's introducing would create an enforceable program for states to oversee the disposal of coal ash.

The West Virginia Democrat has introduced the bill with a Republican Senate colleague. The proposal is scheduled for a hearing Tuesday before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

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

  Clark Davis reports on Senate Bill 393 and its impact on truancy in schools and across the juvenile justice system. Public Source and The Allegheny Front collaborate on a story about prisoners affected streams polluted by coal ash. And southern rock troubadour Paul Thorn performs "What the Hell is Going On?" live on Mountain Stage.

 View of the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant fly ash spill, appx. 1 mile from the retention pond. This view is from just off Swan Pond Road. The pile of ash in the photo is 20-25 feet high, and stretches for two miles or so along this inlet (the inlet empties i
By Brian Stansberry (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)] / Wikimedia Commons

The Obama administration has set the first national standards for waste generated from coal burned for electricity. The regulation treats it more like household garbage rather than a hazardous material.

Little Blue Run Coal Ash Impoundment
Wiki

Today from Capitol Hill, the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a policy paper that addresses coal ash disposal.

MSHA

It’s been more than two weeks since 48-year-old Eric Legg, of Twilight and 46-year-old Gary Hensley, of Chapmanville, died in a Boone County mine. They were using a coal extraction method called retreat mining referred to by safety advocates as the most dangerous form of mining. That’s not the only safety concern at mines in Boone County and throughout Appalachia.

A federal judge issued a memorandum Tuesday in a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s failure to finalize federal coal ash regulations.

United States District Judge Reggie B. Walton issued a ruling giving the Environmental Protection Agency 60 days to name how long it will take to review and revise coal ash regulations. 

Little Blue Run Coal Ash Impoundment
Wiki

More than 50 West Virginia and Pennsylvania property owners are suing FirstEnergy over groundwater pollution, soggy yards, and foundation damage they say was caused by a leaking coal ash impoundment.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Wheeling accuses the Ohio-based power company of negligence, reckless conduct, trespassing and creating a nuisance.

It says arsenic and other substances have leached out of the unlined, 1,700-acre Little Blue Run impoundment into groundwater, and the air has been fouled by the noxious odors of hydrogen sulfide gas.

The Environmental Protection Agency will soon be expected to move forward revising coal ash regulations, according to a federal court ruling.

In April 2012, nearly a dozen environmental groups filed a lawsuit challenging the EPA’s inaction to revise coal ash regulations.