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Court Orders Review Of Coal Mining’s Impact On Endangered Species

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A federal court on Friday approved a deal that requires two federal agencies to review the environmental impacts of coal mining on endangered species. Under the agreement, the Office of Surface Mining, the agency that regulates mountaintop coal mining, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — the agency that protects endangered species, will review… Read More

Gov. Justice takes the oath of office as his son James C. Justice III (center) looks on.

Justice Coal Companies Agree to Settle $5 Million in Delinquent Mine Safety Debts

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (OVR) — Coal companies owned by the family of West Virginia Governor Jim Justice have agreed to pay more than $5 million in overdue mine health and safety fines and fees. According to a press release released Wednesday, a total of 24 coal companies owned by the Justice family agreed to settle millions of dollars… Read More

Piles of coal

UMWA Wants More Coronavirus Protections for Coal Miners

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The United Mine Workers of America is asking federal regulators to set uniform, enforceable guidelines to help protect coal miners from contracting COVID-19. In a letter dated Tuesday, March 24, UMWA President Cecil Roberts wrote to the Mine Safety and Health Administration requesting the agency issue a “safeguard” or “emergency standard” that would require coal mine operators… Read More

Biologists tag and release a northern flying squirrel.

Glidepath to Recovery: Flying Squirrels and Spruce Forests Share Common Fate

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U.S. Forest Service district biologist Shane Jones stands on an overlook high up on West Virginia’s Cheat Mountain. Behind him lush, red spruce trees stand like sentinels on this frozen landscape. As he looks out, small patches of green dot what is largely a view of the barren, brown trunks of leafless hardwoods. More than… Read More

The coal power station on the border between WV and PA

Amid Climate Debate and Coal’s Decline, West Virginia Considers its Future

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On a recent soggy Wednesday evening, dozens of West Virginians packed a conference room inside the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center to discuss the need for a “just transition” for coal-impacted communities. As the nation grapples with climate change, the need for a fair transition for workers and communities that depend upon coal jobs and… Read More

Clendenin, WV faced intense rainfall that led to deadly flooding in June 2016.

After Deadly Floods, West Virginia Created A Resiliency Office. It’s Barely Functioning.

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The rain came hard and fast early on the morning of June 23, 2016. By 2 p.m., water was knee deep in Bill Bell’s appliance store on Main Street in Rainelle, a small town on the western edge of Greenbrier County, West Virginia. Bell began elevating the washing machines and dishwashers, thinking that would be… Read More

A Big Sandy Crayfish

New Protections Proposed For Imperiled Crayfish Species

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service is proposing new protections for two threatened species of crayfish found in the Appalachian coalfields. Under the new proposed rule, published Tuesday in the Federal Register, the agency will designate 445 miles of streams in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia as “critical habitat” for the Guyandotte River crayfish and Big… Read More

Water pouring into water

New Testing Reveals ‘Forever Chemicals’ In More Water Systems Across OH, PA, U.S.

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New testing by the Environmental Working Group has identified the presence of toxic fluorinated chemicals, broadly known as PFAS, in the tap water of dozens of cities across the U.S. where contamination was not previously known. EWG, an advocacy organization that tracks environmental pollutants in consumer products, sampled water in 44 places between May and December… Read More

coal stack

Study Finds Coal Closures Saved Thousands Of Lives

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A new study finds the closure of coal-fired power plants and transition to natural gas generation across the United States over a decade saved an estimated 26,610 lives due to a reduction in air pollution, with about a fifth of those avoided deaths in the Ohio Valley. The coal-rich Ohio Valley states received outsized health… Read More

The Chemours facility, formerly the Dupont company’s site

‘Dark Waters’ Puts PFAS Saga on Big Screen as Ohio Valley Contamination Comes to Light

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The new film “Dark Waters” depicts the real-life story of the 20-year battle waged by attorney Rob Bilott against chemical giant DuPont. We meet Bilott, played by Mark Ruffalo, as a young corporate defense lawyer living in Cincinnati. His grandmother, who lives in Parkersburg, West Virginia, gives his phone number to local farmer, Earl Tennant…. Read More