Potomac River

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

After the 2014 Elk River chemical spill in the Kanawha Valley, the West Virginia Rivers Coalition created the Safe Water WV initiative. The idea is simple: to strengthen a community’s connection to their drinking water and encourage them to work together to better protect it.

A couple years ago, Jefferson and Berkeley Counties decided to build off that initiative in a unique way – using the conservation of farmland and Civil War battlefields as a model for drinking water protection.

Eastern Panhandle Gas Pipeline, Mountaineer Gas, Protest, Pipeline
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A board of high-ranking Maryland officials on Wednesday rejected a proposed pipeline across the western part of the state that would carry natural gas produced in Pennsylvania to West Virginia.

December 3, 1787: James Rumsey Tests First Steamboat Near Shepherdstown

Dec 3, 2018
 Spectators gathered in Shepherdstown along the banks of the Potomac River to watch history being made.
E-WV

On December 3, 1787, spectators gathered in Shepherdstown along the banks of the Potomac River to watch history being made. Inventor James Rumsey stepped aboard a crudely built wooden boat and fired up a steam engine. The waters of the Potomac started churning up, and, suddenly, the boat headed upstream, leaving a stunned crowd in amazement.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Both the Northern and Eastern Panhandles are experiencing flooding this week as rain continues to fall on the two regions. Preparations are also being made across the state to respond to possible heavy rainfall from Hurricane Florence at the end of the week.

The Opequon Creek that borders Berkeley and Jefferson Counties has completely flooded a bridge in Martinsburg near Grapevine Road. Photo taken on May 17, 2018 at 7:22 p.m.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

 

Final Update on Monday, May 21, 2018 at 3:17 p.m.

 

After several days of continuous rainfall, the Eastern Panhandle is no longer under a flood warning or flood watch by the National Weather Service.


E-WV / West Virginia Humanities Council

On May 3, 1924, a devastating flood at Harpers Ferry wiped out a highway bridge and permanently shut down the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal.

E-WV / West Virginia Humanities Council

On May 3, 1924, a devastating flood at Harpers Ferry wiped out a highway bridge and permanently shut down the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal.

pipeline
AP Photo/Sergii Ryzhkov

Environmental activists crowded a TransCanada open house Thursday in western Maryland, blocking access to displays about the company's proposed pipeline beneath the Potomac River to carry natural gas from Pennsylvania to West Virginia.

Protest leaders pledged a sustained campaign against the project, planned by the same Canadian energy company behind the disputed Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Pipe ready for construction.
Seth Perlman / Associated Press

A Potomac River protection group is organizing a demonstration against plans for a pipeline beneath the river that would carry natural gas from Pennsylvania to West Virginia.

Brent Walls of the Potomac Riverkeeper Network says demonstrators plan a silent protest Thursday night at an open house that TransCanada officials are holding in Hancock to discuss the plan.

Potomac River
TimK MSI / wikimedia commons

After threatening to sue the state of Maryland, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has announced that Maryland is halting the permitting process that would have restricted West Virginia's use of the Potomac River.

News outlets report that Morrisey had told Maryland officials in early November that the state of Maryland could not impose regulations on West Virginia's rights to draw from the river.

Potomac River
TimK MSI / wikimedia commons

The Maryland Department of the Environment says Verso Corp. will pay a $10,000 settlement for two chemical spills that tainted the Potomac River last fall.

Agency spokesman Jay Apperson said Thursday the amount is the same as a fine the agency proposed in February.

Potomac River
TimK MSI / wikimedia commons

A government agency is asking people in four states, including West Virginia and the District of Columbia to report algae blooms in rivers and streams that drain into the Potomac River.

The Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin said in a statement Thursday that it's in the fifth year of studying the prevalence and ecological impact of algae and plants in freshwater systems.

Potomac River
TimK MSI / wikimedia commons

Update: Wednesday, September 30, 2015 at 11:45 a.m.

Current models estimate the diluted discharge will reach Hagerstown, Maryland by October 3 and Harpers Ferry by October 10. Rain may alter the projections. The discharge is expected to continue to flow downstream and become diluted.

Washington's Top News reports the spill is not expected to impact the Washington, DC area's water supply. The full impact of the spill is still being investigated by the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Potomac River
TimK MSI / wikimedia commons

Verso Corp. says the chemical that spilled into the Potomac River last week at its Maryland paper mill was a synthetic form of latex, posing no allergy threat for people sensitive to natural rubber.

Verso spokeswoman Kathi Rowzie said Monday the substance was half water and half styrene-butadiene, a paper coating. Nearly 10,000 gallons spilled into the river Wednesday from a wastewater treatment plant serving the mill in Luke.