Environmental Protection Agency

Arbuckle Creek, Minden
Brittany Patterson

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to add areas near the Fayette County town of Minden to its list of the most serious hazardous waste sites in the country.

In a news release Tuesday, the agency said it has determined the Shaffer Equipment site, as well as parts of nearby Arbuckle Creek, should be added to the Superfund National Priorities List.

Curt and Debbie Havens’ ranch style home is the gathering place for their family. Their two boys grew up playing in the streets in this quiet neighborhood in West Virginia’s northern panhandle. Now, their grandchildren do the same.

“They played ball, all kinds of games,” Debbie recalled during a recent interview. Family photos and knick-knacks line the walls. One heart-shaped sign reads “May love be the heart of this home.”

“Everybody wants to come to grammy’s and pappy’s,” she added.

Brittany Patterson / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On a recent drive through the Northview neighborhood of Clarksburg, James Lachapelle surveyed what is left of the factory that was once the lifeblood of this blue-collar community in north central West Virginia.

Broken windows dot the dilapidated structure, which was once the Roland glass factory. Luscious green vines and trees almost obscure the piles of tires and other refuse.

Lachapelle has lived here his entire life. His grandfather, father and brother all worked at the glass factory.

"I grew up with that factory there and never had one worry about," he said. "I mean we just grew up [thinking] 'OK, that’s just the way it was,' but as you got older and the factory collapsed, then you started worrying when are they going to clean this mess up?"

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Republican West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito pressed the head of the Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday over recently released emails that show White House and EPA officials attempted to delay a new federal standard for C-8 and other similar toxic water-polluting chemicals, which have for decades been detected in several water systems in the Ohio Valley.

Brownfields site in Columbus, OH.
Dnpatton / Wikimedia Commons

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has awarded West Virginia nearly $3 million for assessment, remediation and planning work on contaminated properties across the state.

The EPA’s Brownfields Program is aimed at helping communities expand their ability to recycle polluted properties for new, productive reuses.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Building in Washington, D.C.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Federal environmental regulators say they have again found signs of potentially troubling levels of toxic contamination at a former mining equipment operation in West Virginia.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the Environmental Protection Agency’s move to end the Clean Power Plan is the Trump administration’s latest attempt to support the struggling coal industry. The Department of Energy is also pushing a new way to subsidize coal power. But as Glynis Board reports, a new study suggests that market forces -- not regulations -- will still make more coal power plants in the region vulnerable.

Kanawha River
Acroterion / wikimedia commons

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced an agreement to address dioxin contamination in the Kanawha River by constructing a cap over nine acres of sediment containing the toxic substance.

Environmental Protection Agency
Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency is conducting a month-long sampling of water and soil for PCB chemicals in West Virginia.

The testing in Minden until Friday is for polychlorinated biphenyls, which were commonly used as an electrical equipment insulator. The EPA lists PCBs as a "possible" carcinogen and in 1977 banned their used except in totally enclosed systems.

Patrick Ford (in red) and Assistant Director Marvin Six of the Brooke-Hancock Business Development Corporation at the abandoned and contaminated pottery plant in 2012.
Photo courtesy of Patrick Ford

One of the Trump Administration’s first moves once in office was to freeze all grants issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That move raised a lot of questions and a further directive limiting public statements from the EPA added to the confusion.

Jim Justice
Scott Halleran / Getty Images

A federal judge has approved a settlement requiring pollution reductions and a $900,000 civil penalty by Appalachian coal mines owned by West Virginia Governor-elect Jim Justice.

The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice announced the settlement in September with Southern Coal Corp. and 26 affiliates.

Michael and Carrie Kline

After years of researching the environmental effects of horizontal gas drilling, including the controversial practice called “fracking”, the Environmental Protection Agency released a final report that highlights threats, but is still largely inconclusive.

Janet Kunicki / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia’s solicitor general will argue before a federal district court panel next week that the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan is an illegal use of presidential power. 

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey previewed the state’s arguments Thursday.

Harrison County
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

Federal officials are adding a Clarksburg site to the list of the most serious spots identified for environmental cleanup. On Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced the addition of the North 25th Street Glass and Zinc site to the Superfund National Priorities List.

Alpha Natural Resources

West Virginia's environmental authority has filed an objection to the proposed $500 million sale of Alpha Natural Resources' assets to a hedge fund, arguing that the deal could leave the state holding hundreds of millions in reclamation liabilities.

The Register-Herald reports that the Department of Environmental Protection filed the objection this week over concerns that a bankruptcy judge's approval of the proposed sale would tilt the process in favor of the hedge fund and institutional investors by having the coal company's major assets be sold off to Alpha's senior lenders.

http://www.murrayenergycorp.com/

One of the nation's largest coal companies is challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's final ruling that the agency's 2014 mercury and air toxics standards will stay in place even after a new consideration of costs.

The State Journal reports that Murray Energy filed a brief with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Monday, challenging the EPA's supplemental finding that was submitted earlier in the day.

commons.wikimedia.org

Williams Ohio Valley Midstream has paid a $14,440 settlement to the federal government after leaking a natural gas component into three Ohio Valley waterways. 

The company paid the fine to the Environmental Protection Agency after 132 barrels of natural gas condensate leaked from its Moundsville pipeline. 

Dollar Photo Club

A federal judge has set a July trial date in a coal company’s lawsuit against the top U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official.

 

On Wednesday, Dec. 23, U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey in Wheeling ordered a July 19 trial date in the case brought by coal giant Murray Energy against EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

cityofhuntington.com

State, federal and city officials will meet Tuesday in Huntington discuss revitalization efforts in the city.

The City of Huntington and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will host a forum Tuesday December 8th to provide guidance on moving the city forward with a new revitalization plan. The forum is among the first of its kind under the EPA’s “Making a Visible Difference in Communities” initiative.

The Environmental Protection Agency has reached a settlement with the carbon material and chemical company Koppers Inc. The settlement is aimed at preventing oil spills into the Ohio River from the company’s Follansbee facility in Brooke County. The river provides drinking water to 5 million people and is widely used for recreation. 

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Wheeling Jesuit University's Appalachian Institute will hold a panel discussion on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan.

The discussion will take place on Wednesday night in the Center for Educational Technologies building on the Wheeling Jesuit campus.

Bill Hughes

The federal Environmental Protection Agency proposed a new rule this week that would regulate methane gas pollution in the oil and gas industry. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and the Obama administration wants to see emissions cut in half over the next decade.


Charleston Daily Mail

Can West Virginia comply with President Obama’s Clean Power Plan? And if so, at what cost?

Those are the questions Randy Huffman is trying to answer. Huffman is Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

Huffman came on “The Front Porch” podcast to talk about how his agency is dealing with Obama's plan to reduce greenhouse gases from power plants.

Here are 10 takeaways from our interview with Huffman that will (hopefully) help you understand the Clean Power Plan’s impact on West Virginia.

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

One of the nation's largest coal mining companies will pay a $2 million federal fine for exceeding pollution discharge limits at Appalachian mines in several states.

The U.S. Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday announced the agreement with Arch Coal Inc. and its subsidiaries. It says excess releases of aluminum, manganese, iron and suspended solids occurred at mines in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia over the last six years. About 1,200 violations occurred, though 700 were resolved previously by state enforcement agencies in Kentucky and West Virginia.

Patrick Morrisey, W. Va. Attorney General
Janet Kunicki / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Sixteen states are banding together to ask the Obama administration to put its greenhouse gas limits for power plants on hold while they sue to stop them.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and 15 other attorneys general submitted their request in a letter Wednesday to the Environmental Protection Agency. They're asking the EPA to respond by Friday.

Tower for drilling horizontally into the Marcellus Shale Formation for natural gas, from Pennsylvania Route 118 in eastern Moreland Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, USA
Ruhrfisch [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)

The federal Environmental Protection Agency issued a report this week pertaining to the possible effects of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water. The report comes after several years of analyzing literature and research, but findings were largely inconclusive.


Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin joined four other U.S. senators to unveil new legislation aimed at pushing back on proposed federal clean air regulations.

 

Standing beside four other Republican senators and Democrat Joe Manchin, Shelley Moore Capito introduced the The Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act on Wednesday, May 13, at a press conference in Washington, D.C. 

Janet Kunicki / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s office will present oral arguments before a U.S. Court of Appeals Thursday fighting the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed carbon emission standards. 

The proposed standards were released for comment last summer by the federal EPA. They would require states across the country to reduce their carbon emissions by 30 percent in 15 years, focusing particularly on emissions from coal-fired power plants.

  The federal Environmental Protection Agency’s public comment period on proposed stricter ozone standards closes this week. Many health and medical professionals across the country are urging the EPA to adopt the standard. Meanwhile, West Virginia’s senator Joe Manchin introduced legislation that would block the measure.


West Virginia Legislative Services

Friday in the House, three bills were up for passage. First was House Bill 2004, which would require a procedure for the development of a state plan in regard to the Clean Air Act.

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