Clean Water Act

The Trump administration is changing the definition of what qualifies as "waters of the United States," tossing out an Obama-era regulation that had enhanced protections for wetlands and smaller waterways.

Thursday's rollback is the first step in a process that will allow the Trump administration to create its own definition of which waters deserve federal protection. A new rule is expected to be finalized this winter.

Jeff Young / Ohio Valley ReSource

The Sierra Club and a coalition of West Virginia-based environmental groups took the first step Tuesday toward taking legal action against companies operating 15 coal facilities and one chloride plant in West Virginia and Pennsylvania for violating the Clean Water Act and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.

Brittany Patterson / WVPB

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is reconsidering how it permits stream crossings for natural gas pipelines and other federal projects approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Brittany Patterson / WVPB

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday halted some construction of the natural gas Mountain Valley Pipeline in West Virginia.

The three-judge panel sided with conservation groups who challenged the pipeline’s water-crossings permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

streams
Alokrohith / wikimedia commons

A federal appeals court was urged Tuesday to overturn a ruling by a judge who found that the state of West Virginia has abandoned its responsibility to write cleanup plans for streams harmed by pollution from mountaintop-removal coal mining.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the Trump administration is scrapping the Waters of the U.S. rule -- a clean-water regulation advanced by the Obama administration. The rule was meant to clarify federal authority over small streams, and its repeal raises questions about how to best protect those waterways. Amid the swirling uncertainty, an unlikely group of clean water champions has emerged in western Kentucky’s farmland.  The Ohio Valley ReSource's Nicole Erwin reports that people along the Little River have some big ideas for water conservation.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice talks about his budget proposal during a stop on his Save Our State Tour on Thursday, March 3, 2017, at Fairmont State University.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Justice administration has refused to schedule a hearing on an appeal of the Mountain Valley Pipeline's authorization.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Austin Caperton signed a letter last week denying a request for a hearing challenging the DEP's approval of a Clean Water Act certification for the MVP. The letter was sent to Appalachia Mountain Advocates, an environmental law firm that challenged the authorization.

A company associated with West Virginia's newly tapped commerce secretary has agreed to pay a $150,000 fine after it was accused of violating the federal Clean Water Act.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports federal authorities recently finalized a deal with High Tech Corridor Development LLC regarding what federal inspectors concluded was unpermitted construction work for an extension of the White Oaks business park in Bridgeport.

gavel
wikimedia / Wikimedia

The trial has been postponed for an employee at a Raleigh County coal industry laboratory accused of falsifying water samples.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports 62-year-old John Brewer will be tried in federal court beginning Aug. 8.

Brian Turner / Wikimedia Commons

Another employee at a Raleigh County coal industry laboratory has been charged for his part in a scheme to falsify water samples.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports 62-year-old John Brewer, a manager at Appalachian Laboratories Inc., faces seven counts in a federal grand jury indictment.

Ibrahim.ID / wikimedia Commons

Environmental groups are taking legal action to require the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to treat water pollution at bankrupt coal mines in Barbour, Nicholas and Preston counties.

News outlets report that West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, West Virginia Rivers Coalition and the West Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club filed two lawsuits in two federal courts on April 20. The plaintiffs accuse West Virginia of violating the Clean Water Act by allowing excessive amounts of pollutants to discharge from the abandoned coal mine sites.

Malepheasant / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia and eight other states are suing over new water regulations criticized as overly burdensome on farmers and landowners.

On Tuesday, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced the lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It was filed in southern Georgia federal court.

The Environmental Protection Agency has clarified a rule in the Clean Water Act that adds protection for the thousands of miles of streams that feed into West Virginia’s drinking water source. But West Virginia's U.S. senators are speaking out against it.

epa.gov

A federal appeals court is declining to stand in the way of the Obama administration's efforts to block water pollution from mountaintop removal coal mining.

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued the ruling Friday, according to The Charleston Gazette.

It concluded that the Environmental Protection Agency was within its authority to consult with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about Clean Water Act permits for mining operations.