Minden

Brittany Patterson/ WVPB

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working to clean up a former mining equipment operation in Fayette County, known as the Shaffer site. On Monday, the EPA announced that the Shaffer site has been added to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites. 


Arbuckle Creek, Minden
Brittany Patterson, WVPB

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday added the site of a former mining equipment operation in West Virginia to its National Priorities List of Superfund sites.

The EPA announced in a news release the addition of the Shaffer Equipment/Arbuckle Creek Area Site in Minden to the list. That would make it a federal priority for cleanup, enforcement and funding. The EPA had proposed the move in September.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Energy and Environment Reporter Brittany Patterson joins us again on The Legislature Today to lead a discussion exploring environmental issues in West Virginia. She brings us a special report from Minden, West Virginia, and she chats with a lawmaker in the House of Delegates who’s also an environmental scientist.

Arbuckle Creek, Minden
Brittany Patterson, WVPB

Two years ago, residents of Minden, West Virginia, asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to do more testing and consider the town’s soil and water to be a health and environmental risk in need of another cleanup.

Last September, residents received the news that, after analyzing new data, the agency proposed listing Minden on the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). A final determination was supposed to happen this spring, but the partial government shutdown has pushed that back.


Arbuckle Creek, Minden
Brittany Patterson, WVPB

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.

Brittany Patterson/ WVPB

Three high school students in Fayette County have devoted the past year to researching Minden’s possible soil contamination and the history of the Environmental Protection Agency's involvement in the Shaffer Site. Their project involved collecting soil samples at the former site of the Shaffer Equipment Company, which in the 1970s was in the business of repairing, building, and disposing of various types of transformers from coal companies. The company leaked polychlorinated biphenyl — more commonly known as PCB— into the soil.


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this episode of West Virginia Morning, we’ll learn how a theater company in Morgantown is looking to contribute to community conversations about substance abuse issues ravaging the region. 


Arbuckle Creek, Minden
Brittany Patterson, WVPB

On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll visit Minden, West Virginia, where residents are asking the federal government to consider adding their town to an official list of places most seriously contaminated by hazardous waste. But this nearly 40-year-old program’s budget has faced repeated cuts over the past 20 years. We’ll learn about how that may affect cleanup efforts for communities that are designated as U.S. Department of Environmental Protection Superfund sites.

Brittany Patterson / WVPB

The Environmental Protection Agency will hold a public listening session next week in the town of Minden, which is seeking federal help due to hazardous waste contamination.

Brittany Patterson / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

UPDATE 6/1/18:

After this story was published, resident Annetta Coffman sent West Virginia Public Broadcasting a list including an additional 89 names of people in Minden who have had cancer or died of cancer. West Virginia Public Broadcasting reported earlier that according to an unofficial list compiled by community members, about 152 people have had cancer or died of cancer in this community of 250 residents.