water

In Florida, Nestlé is taking heat from environmental groups and others concerned about the future of one of the state's most endangered natural resources — its freshwater springs. Florida has more than a thousand freshwater springs, which provide drinking water, important natural habitat and places for recreation. Nestlé wants to begin taking more than a million gallons of water each day from Ginnie Springs, a popular destination in north Florida for swimming, canoeing and tubing.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A new study released Tuesday by three environmental groups found more than half of West Virginia counties rank among the worst in the nation for violations of a federal law that protects the quality of drinking water in the U.S. 

Some of the crew aboard a tow boat operated by Amherst Madison in W.Va.
Eric Douglas/ WVPB

A decline in coal production over the past decade affected more than just coal miners. It also impacted the riverboat industry. Amherst Madison is a riverboat company based outside Charleston, West Virginia. For decades, the company has made most of their money towing coal barges. But a downturn in coal meant the company had to look for other ways to stay afloat. 

West Virginia Public Broadcasting spent some time with these folks inside the river industry, and we asked them what the future of the industry looks like.

Captain Marvin Wooten pushes five loads of coal along the Kanawha River. He has worked for Amherst Madison since 1979.
Eric Douglas/ WVPB

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re looking at how water shapes us ⁠— and how we’re impacting our waterways. Our rivers are a vital part of our identity as Appalachians. We depend them for survival, recreation and transportation. And we depend on rivers for economic reasons, too. 

 

The handful of riverboat companies that still operate in Appalachia have primarily made the majority of their money towing coal barges. But a downturn in coal production meant many of these companies had to look to other ways to stay afloat.

US Department of Agriculture

On Monday, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice shared his recommendations for the next round of Appalachian Regional Commission projects in the state. 

The ARC is a partnership between the federal government and the 13 Appalachian states. The agency awards federal dollars for infrastructure and economic development projects across the region.

Water
Jasonanaggie / Wikimedia Commons

A West Virginia town that spent the past 17 years living under a boil water advisory finally has access to clean water.

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.

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

In Washington, D.C., the House of Representatives passed amendments to end military use of toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS in firefighting foam and food packaging, and to expand efforts to monitor for PFAS pollution.


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear the final story in our series on breastfeeding, the second part of a two-part series on water infrastructure issues in Kentucky, and we hear a discussion with singer-songwriter Tristen Marie Gaspadarek.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, an increase in heavier rain events is putting stress on Kentucky’s aging water infrastructure, and we hear another installment from this week’s Inside Appalachia episode on breastfeeding.

Brittany Patterson / WVPB

A collaborative art exhibit at West Virginia University focuses on one of the state’s most abundant resources -- water. It also celebrates the many women who protect it.

Featuring brightly colored panels covering wide swaths of the downtown campus library’s walls, “WATER: Exploring the Significance, Power and Play of Life’s Critical Resource” explores the state’s rivers and wetland ecosystems, celebrates the art and recreation opportunities afforded by water, and explores challenges and solutions facing the state’s water resources.


Adobe Stock

The West Virginia Legislature has passed a bill containing a set of environmental regulations, including a controversial water pollution rule that was pared down during the legislative process.

The House passed Senate Bill 163 on a 78-22 vote. The measure, which passed in the Senate last month, is now in effect.

Adobe Stock

A West Virginia House committee on Tuesday, Feb. 19, voted down an amendment that would have restored the state’s water quality standards to the version originally proposed by state environmental regulators last summer.

We bring you a special report and in-depth discussion on water infrastructure needs in West Virginia. Reporter Caity Coyne of the Charleston Gazette-Mail joins us to explore the issues and discuss two bills moving through the West Virginia Legislature that may address some of the need.

Jessica Lilly

Graduate students from the University of Pennsylvania are looking for a solution to the complex water infrastructure challenges facing underserved communities in places like southern West Virginia. As part of their solutions driven project, a team of six students visited McDowell County to tour the water plants.

John Deskins, Director of the West Virginia University Bureau of Business and Economic Research, joins host Suzanne Higgins for a discussion on the state’s economy, areas of growth, labor force participation, and the employment growth forecast in West Virginia. We also have stories from reporters Randy Yohe and Danite Belay.

West Virginia American Water says it and state Public Service Commission staff have a tentative agreement over an increase to monthly bills.

More than $1.1 million in federal funding has been announced for a West Virginia water project planned to replace outdated systems and improve service in several communities.

Two southern West Virginia communities will receive nearly $2 million in federal funding for water and wastewater projects.

Freedom Industries
AP

West Virginia Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito say the state is receiving $1.2 million in funding from the Environmental Protection Agency to battle surface water pollution.

A release from the two U.S. senators says the grant will also help West Virginia implement an "effective underground storage tank state regulatory program."

This is the first of a two-part series on water infrastructure in Appalachia, and possible solutions to problems at the federal and local level.

Water
Jasonanaggie / Wikimedia Commons

The City of Martinsburg has sued the federal government over alleged chemical contamination of a drinking water plant.

Martinsburg attorney Kin Sayre filed the claim this month, requesting the Air National Guard pay for damages caused by high levels of two chemicals that the city said seeped into the water supply at the Big Springs water filtration plant in Martinsburg in 2016.

A company in West Virginia says it's seeking to raise prices for customers by nearly $12 per month.

WSAZ-TV reports West Virginia American Water is asking the Public Service Commission to approve the 24 percent rate increase. The increase would add about $32 million to the company's revenue.

wikimedia commons/Magnolia677

Attorneys for 16 Wyoming County families who accused a coal company of contaminating their water asked the state’s highest court Wednesday, Jan. 24, for another chance to prove their case.

Jessica Lilly

This week on Inside Appalachia, we discuss one part of coal's legacy: as mining companies have closed, the water companies they built and helped maintain have largely been neglected. Today, residents are struggling with crumbling water infrastructure that hasn’t been updated for, sometimes, 100 years. 

West Virginia's U.S. senators say $6.65 million in federal rural development funding has been approved for building a new treatment plant and other upgrades for the water system in McMechen.

Wikimedia Commons

A raft of garbage covers a swath of the Monongahela River in northern West Virginia, a dozen miles upstream from the drinking water intake for 100,000 people.

Old tires, damaged toys, algae, oil drums, sticks and other refuse have crowded against the dam for so long that weeds sprout from them. Stuck against the spillway, the trash spans a football field's length from one bank to the other and spreads almost 30 yards upstream.

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.

Gov. Jim Justice has appointed a new executive director of the West Virginia Water Development Authority that finances construction of wastewater and water facilities for local government agencies.

Water
Jasonanaggie / Wikimedia Commons

Water service has been turned off for more than 1,000 homes as the Huntington Sanitary Board has sent thousands of shut-off requests to West Virginia American Water as it pursues customers more than 30 days late on paying their sewer bill.

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