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Advocacy Group Finds Traces Contamination In Many Regional Water Systems

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Tap water delivered by more than 2,000 water systems across the Ohio Valley contain pollutants, many harmful to human health, even though they mostly meet federal drinking water standards. That’s according to a newly-updated database released by the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization. Millions of residents in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia are being exposed to small amounts of… Read More

The Paducah Water lab tests a variety of different water samples

Ohio To Test For Toxic PFAS Chemicals In Drinking Water

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Ohio will begin testing some public and private water systems for the presence of toxic nonstick, fluorinated chemicals, broadly called PFAS. In a press release issued Friday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the state’s environmental and public health agencies will analyze drinking water systems located near places with known contamination. That includes near firefighting training… Read More

Norton City Manager Fred Ramey poses at Flag Rock Recreation Area.

The Coal Town Betting Big On Outdoor Recreation

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Standing on the breezy outlook at Flag Rock Recreation Area, Norton City Manager Fred Ramey is taking in the panoramic view of downtown Norton, Virginia. The brick building-lined streets are framed by the verdant, rolling Appalachian mountains. Jagged, brown scars from mountaintop mining operations can be seen in the distance, reminders of the region’s history… Read More

Environmental groups posted signs in Shadyside, OH.

Settlement Reached Over Proposed Ohio Cracker Plant Air Permit

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Environmental groups have reached a settlement agreement with a petrochemical company  in Ohio to beef up air pollution controls at a proposed petrochemical plant along the Ohio River. Thailand-based PTT Global Chemical America and South Korea-based Daelim Industrial Co. have proposed building a multi-billion dollar ethylene cracker plant on a 500-acre tract of land in Belmont County,… Read More

Near the scene of the miners’ protest in Harlan Co., KY.

Paychecks Cut For Some Blackjewel Miners; Others Still Wait

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West Virginia employees of coal operator Blackjewel LLC have received their final paychecks more than two months after the company declared bankruptcy on July 1. In an agreement reached last week between the Department of Labor and the company, Blackjewel cut paper checks for all owed wages to a few dozen employees working at the… Read More

Matt Hepler of the advocacy group Appalachian Voices.

Idle Lands: Justice Coal Group Top User Of Loophole Allowing Mine Lands To Sit Idle

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Standing at an overlook on the top of Black Mountain — the tallest point in Kentucky —  the wooded Appalachian mountains stretch on like a sea of green for miles. For many, this mountain is synonymous with the coal industry. It straddles the state line separating Harlan County, Kentucky and Wise County, Virginia, two communities… Read More

Mussel Woman: Biologist Passes Along Pearls Of Wisdom About Threatened Mussels

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Janet Clayton is standing thigh-deep in a back channel of the Elk River. Clad in a wetsuit and knee pads, the silver-haired biologist with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources reaches into a bright orange mesh bag submerged in water. Inside are a half dozen mussels she plucked from the rocky river bottom. “This… Read More

Piles of coal

Major Appalachian Coal Company Files For Bankruptcy Protection

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In the latest sign of problems for the U.S. coal industry, one of the country’s largest coal producers has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. West Virginia-based Revelation Energy LLC and its recently-formed affiliate, Blackjewel LLC, began the bankruptcy reorganization process in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of West Virginia on Monday. The companies,… Read More

Coal Companies Belonging To WV Gov. Justice’s Family Agree To Pay Overdue Taxes In KY

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Coal companies controlled by the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice have agreed to a settlement covering millions of dollars in overdue property taxes in four eastern Kentucky counties: Harlan, Knott, Magoffin, and Pike. Checks totaling $1.2 million from Justice entities began rolling in last week, county officials said. According to state officials, the… Read More

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice

Federal Prosecutors Say WV Gov. Justice Responsible For Fines Against Family Company

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Federal prosecutors on Tuesday said they will seek a court ruling to hold West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and his son, Jay Justice, personally accountable for a $1.23 million civil fine imposed on one of the family’s coal businesses, Justice Energy Company, Inc. In a court filing, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West… Read More