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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

The Paducah Water lab tests a variety of different water samples

Ohio Valley Residents Among Millions in America Lacking Access to Clean Water, Sanitation

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Communities across the Ohio Valley are among an estimated 2 million Americans that do not have consistent access to clean drinking water and basic indoor plumbing, according to a report published Monday by two nonprofits, DigDeep and the US Water Alliance. The report titled, “Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States,” synthesized data… Read More

A scene from inside Portal 31.

Portal 31: How A Closed Mine Opened New Prospects For One Coal Town

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Devin Mefford is sitting in the squat metal buggy of a modified mantrip, the train-like shuttle coal miners use to travel underground. Mefford is dressed for work, in a hardhat and a navy shirt and pants with lime green reflective stripes. It’s a uniform his father and grandfather — both Kentucky coal miners — would… Read More

Piles of coal

EPA Proposes Changes to Federal Coal Ash, Wastewater Rules

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Federal environmental regulators released proposed changes to two rules related to the disposal of coal ash and wastewater from coal-fired power plants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday announced its third round of changes to its 2015 rule regulating coal ash. Coal ash is one of the largest waste streams in the country and often contains toxic… Read More

Murray Energy CEO Bob Murray speaks at the EnVision Forum

Ohio-Based Coal Giant Murray Energy Declares Bankruptcy

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Murray Energy Corp., the largest underground coal mining company in America with a substantial footprint across the Ohio Valley, has filed for bankruptcy protection. “Although a bankruptcy filing is not an easy decision, it became necessary to access liquidity and best position Murray Energy and its affiliates for the future of our employees and customers… Read More