West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection

Bill Hughes

West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection is encouraging aboveground storage tank owners to comply with a new law and label their tanks.

The amended Aboveground Storage Tank Act, passed by the state Legislature on March 14, requires each aboveground storage tank be labeled with a registration number, the emergency contact telephone number for the owner or operator of the tank and the telephone number for the DEP’s Spill Reporting Hotline (1-800-642-3074).

http://www.murrayenergycorp.com/

State regulators have cited Murray Energy Corp. for a spill at a subsidiary's coal preparation plant in Benwood.

Media outlets report that sediment and liquid spilled into the Ohio River on Saturday from Ohio County Coal Co.'s plant. The Department of Environmental Protection cited Murray for failing to maintain discharge controls.

DEP spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater says the spill didn't appear to have any effect on aquatic life.

Murray spokesman Gary Broadbent says the company has remedied the incident.

Department of Environmental Protection, DEP
Department of Environmental Protection

A company has agreed to pay a $10,560 fine for water pollution-control violations at the company's Inwood subdivision.

The Herald-Mail of Hagerstown, Md. reports Ayers & Ayers Holding Co. agreed to a proposed settlement announced Wednesday by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

Williams Energy

Williams Energy and state regulators are working to mitigate the impact of a natural gas pipeline rupture in Marshall County.

Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater says inspectors have found benzene and other materials in an unnamed stream.

Department of Environmental Protection, DEP
Department of Environmental Protection

The West Virginia Environmental Quality Board ruled earlier this month the the Department of Environmental Protection violated state law when it allowed Danny Webb Construction to operate the injection wells in Fayette County without a permit.

After being rescheduled several times because of weather, a public hearing to discuss the permit application is scheduled for tonight at Oak Hill High School.
The public is invited to attend the public about these UIC permits. It's scheduled for tonight from six until eight at Oak Hill High School.

Residual waste truck in Pennsylvania.
Iris Marie Bloom

  A new report was published this month that looks at how states are dealing with dangerous waste produced during shale gas development. Not well, according to the report.


David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

Williams Energy and state regulators are investigating two natural gas pipeline ruptures that occurred within hours of each other in Marshall County.

Williams spokesman Helen Humphreys tells The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register that the company believes heavy rains were a contributing factor. She says the rains might have destabilized soils.

Department of Environmental Protection, DEP
Department of Environmental Protection

State regulators say a spill that closed several roads in the Spencer area apparently was rainwater.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Freedom Industries has signed a Voluntary Remediation Agreement with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection following the January 2014 spill of crude MCHM that tainted the water supply of 300,000 West Virginians for days. The agreement is part of the Freedom’s acceptance into the DEP’s Voluntary Remediation Program, including clean up the site.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Freedom Industries hosted a public meeting Tuesday night in a small room in the Charleston Civic Center to provide updates on the remediation of the site of the spill. Last January a coal-scrubbing chemical leaked from a 40,000 gallon storage tank next to the Elk River contaminated the drinking water of 300,000 West Virginians.  

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The public will learn next week about plans to clean up a chemical storage site on the Elk River that was the source of a public water crisis in West Virginia.

The Tuesday meeting in Charleston will include consultants from Freedom Industries and officials from the state Department of Environmental Protection. They'll explain plans under the department's voluntary industrial remediation program.

photo courtesy Coal River Mountain Watch

In Charleston on Monday, about 200 people gathered in front of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection headquarters to demand a moratorium on mountaintop removal mining permits.

Protesters cited several health studies that show a direct link between high rates of cancer and mountaintop removal mining. One of the six environmental groups that organized the rally was Coal River Mountain Watch. Vernon Haltom is the group’s executive director.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, while lawmakers are working on the state’s spending plan, some Putnam County school children are getting a lesson in how to create and stick to a budget.  And two stories about how citizens can offer comments on air quality permits for natural gas drilling and a possible natural gas pipeline through the Jefferson National Forest.  These stories coming up on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.


West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey
West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey / West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection hosted a public hearing in Charleston to discuss a new air quality permit for natural gas facilities in the state. Some wish the DEP would use the permit writing process to incorporate suggestions from scientists who have studied air around gas facilities.


Jim Justice
Scott Halleran / Getty Images

Billionaire Jim Justice says his buyback of coal mining operations in West Virginia includes some big liabilities.

Justice completed the $5 million acquisition of Bluestone Inc. from Russian mining and metals company Mechel OAO last month. He had sold Bluestone's mining operations to Mechel in 2009 for $436 million in cash and more than $83 million in preferred shares.

Department of Environmental Protection, DEP
Department of Environmental Protection

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is rescheduling a public hearing on two permit renewal applications for the second time. The public hearing is around applications for an underground injection control (UIC) facility near Lochgelly in Fayette County. 

In an email, the DEP said the meeting scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 19 in Oak Hill has been postponed a  due to inclement weather conditions.

Department of Environmental Protection, DEP
Department of Environmental Protection

West Virginia environmental workers responded to a glycolic acid leak at a chemical plant in Belle.

Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Kelly Gillenwater says a team was dispatched to monitor the area around the DuPont plant after Wednesday's incident.

Gillenwater tells the Charleston Gazette the leak occurred when DuPont employees turned on a piece of equipment that had been shut down for maintenance.

DuPont blamed the leak on an equipment failure.

At the legislature today, the House approves a bill that inserts the legislature into the state Department of Environmental Protection’s plans to comply with US EPA carbon emission standards. That measure now goes to the senate where passage is expected. And a year after the Kanawha Valley water crisis, things are back to normal for the 300,000 West Virginians affected, but some residents of McDowell County are just getting clean water after years without it. A special report on water and more coming up on The Legislature Today.

Legislature Wants to Approve State Energy Plan

Feb 2, 2015
state capitol
wikimedia / Wikimedia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Stakeholders are weighing in on whether lawmakers should get to vote on state plans to meet proposed federal carbon emission standards for coal-fired power plants.
 
     At a House public hearing Monday, speakers discussed a bill requiring the GOP-led Legislature's vote before the state sends compliance plans to the EPA. It requires a state feasibility report 180 days after EPA's rule is finalized.
 
     Environmentalists said legislative approval would be burdensome. Coal industry groups said lawmakers should have more say.
 

West Virginia University

West Virginia University has agreed to pay a $24,769 fine to resolve hazardous waste violations.

The fine is part of a proposed consent order issued by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. The order says the violations were discovered during an inspection of a WVU Engineering facility on the Evansdale campus in August 2014.

Violations included failure to keep a hazardous waste container closed, failure to properly label a container of waste and failure to properly respond to a spill of used oil.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

State environmental regulators say the highest-risk aboveground storage tanks could face a $375 annual fee in a law to protect water supplies.

Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Randy Huffman made the comments to a state Senate budget panel Monday. The fees aren't finalized.

Out of more than 48,000 tanks registered under the law, Huffman said almost 3,800 near a water supply and 3,700 others considered high-risk could face the $375 annual per-tank fee.

  The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Public Health, along with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, is investigating foam observed on the surface of the Coal River. 

According to a news release from DHHR Friday evening,  intakes at both Lincoln County Public Service District and City of St. Albans water systems have been closed. 

The DHHR says foam samples have been collected by Lincoln PSD and the Department of Environmental Protection. Testing of the samples is ongoing and initial results are expected this evening.

AP

  State officials haven't received inspection certifications for 20,000 of 49,000 aboveground tanks due New Year's Day.

The Department of Environmental Protection says it's also determining what's wrong with 80 specific tanks.

Inspections deemed the still-operating tanks unfit for use. They contain hazardous substances, are near water supplies, or both.

AP

The deadline is approaching to submit aboveground storage tank inspections required by a new state law to protect public water supplies.

Department of Environmental Protection, DEP
Department of Environmental Protection

State regulators have fined the city of Logan more than $81,000 for wastewater violations.

Jessica Lilly

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the Division of Natural Resources are gearing up for their 10th annual Christmas tree recycling event.

coalrivergroup.com

West Virginia officials are kicking off plans to restore the Coal River.

The state Department of Environmental Protection has committed $1 million to plan and begin a stream restoration project targeting the main stem of the river.

Department of Environmental Protection, DEP
Department of Environmental Protection

Dominion Transmission has agreed to pay $55,470 in administrative penalties to resolve water pollution violations in West Virginia.

The penalties are part of a consent order issued by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. A 30-day public comment period on the consent order ends Dec. 18.

According to the order, the violations included slips in pipeline work areas in 2012 and 2013 that caused sediment deposits in several waterways in Marshall County.

State regulators have scheduled a public hearing on a company's application to renew permits for two underground injection wells in Fayette County.

Danny E. Webb Construction Inc. operates the wells at a facility near Lochgelly. The wells pump oil and gas drilling waste underground.

Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Delegate John Pino requested two things of the state Department of Environmental Protection during a November interim meeting. The first was information about the permit status of an injection well in Fayette County, his district. The second was for the department to conduct tests of a creek near the site for possible contamination.

Three weeks later, Pino said he still hasn’t heard from the agency.

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