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A coal silo near the old Marsh Fork Elementary School.

Advocates Say Citizen Mining Complaint Process Weakened By Rule Change

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MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (OVR) — Environmental and community advocates in Appalachian coal communities are concerned about a new federal rule, finalized this week, that is changing the process that allows citizens to file complaints about polluting coal mining operations. The Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement said in a Tuesday press release that… Read More

Heavy downpours increased dramatically in the Ohio Valley as the climate changed.

Ohio Valley Mayors Aim For A Green Recovery Amid Coronavirus And Climate Change

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PITTSBURGH, Pa. (OVR) — When newly elected President Donald Trump announced in 2017 that he would pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, he said, “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” The goal of the landmark Paris Agreement, which was signed in 2015 by 189 parties,… Read More

Pipeline awaits installation in a natural gas project.

Drilling Permits Cancelled For Underground Natural Gas Storage Project

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MONROE COUNTY, Ohio (OVR) — Ohio environmental regulators have canceled key permits needed for an underground natural gas liquids storage facility proposed along the Ohio River. According to an order from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, permits to drill three three Class III solution mining wells in Monroe County, Ohio were cancelled on Sept…. Read More

FILE – This April 4, 2017, file photo shows the entrance to FirstEnergy Corp.'s Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Oak Harbor, Ohio.

Opponents Say Poll Shows Little Support For HB6

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — A group calling for the repeal of a sweeping energy law that bailed out nuclear power plants says they have public opinion on their side. The coalition of organizations against HB6 says polling shows little support for the legislation at the center of a federal corruption investigation. A group of environmentalists, government watchdogs… 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

Chet Blankenship was buried in the lawn beside his home.

Clean Water Wanted: Contaminated Wells and the Legacy of Fossil Fuel Extraction

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“You seen that one with the tombstone up there?” seven-year-old Timothy Easterling asks, looking toward the grass just uphill from his home. “That’s my papaw.” Timothy’s grandfather Chet Blankenship died in 2016, at age 69. Blankenship lived on land he and his family have long owned at the end of a road atop Bradshaw Mountain… Read More

A bushfire burns in Bodalla, New South Wales, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020.

WATCH: Australian Bushfires Prompt Conversation About Land Management Practices

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Bushfires are still burning in parts of Australia. So far this season, they have claimed the lives of more than 30 people and destroyed tens of millions of acres of land. The ensuing toll on forest and wildlife has prompted new conversations about how Australian land should be managed — and whether a return to… 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

Wayne National Forest sign

Forest Service Seeks Public Input on Wayne National Forest Management Plan Revision

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NELSONVILLE, Ohio – The public has an opportunity to weigh in on how the Wayne National Forest is managed. The National Forest Service seeks public review of a draft assessment that outlines ecological, social and economic changes on the forest and surrounding area. The assessment is the first step in revising the plan that guides… Read More

Miners assemble on railroad tracks to block a shipment of coal from a Blackjewel mine.

Bankrupt Blackjewel Coal Still Racking Up Environmental Violations, Officials Warn

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An attorney for the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet told a federal judge Wednesday that the bankrupt coal company Blackjewel has accrued nearly 300 environmental violations since it entered bankruptcy in July. “It’s essential that these violations are addressed, abated, and that they stop accruing,” Cabinet attorney Lena Seward told bankruptcy judge Frank Volk in the… Read More

Petitioner gathering signatures for HB6 referendum

Nuclear Bailout Opponents End Their Referendum Attempt

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The group that was fighting to overturn Ohio’s nuclear power plant bailout has dropped its case in court which means the plan for additional fees on electric bills to subsidize nuclear and coal will carry forward. Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts wanted voters this fall to overturn the law, through HB6, that bails out nuclear plants, subsidizes coal plants, rolls back… Read More

President Donald Trump takes questions from the media before boarding Maine One at the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, en route to Camp David in Maryland.

Trump Seeks to Relax Environmental Regulation of Some Infrastructure Projects

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The Trump administration wants to roll back part of a seminal law requiring environmental impact statements for infrastructure projects such as roads, mines and pipelines. Industry has long pushed for these changes to reduce what it says are endless delays, but environmental groups argue the proposal would be disastrous for environmental protection. PBS NewsHour’s William… Read More

The coal power station on the border between WV and PA

2020 Hindsight: The Ohio Valley’s Decade in Data

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The year: 2009. A Senator from Illinois named Barack Obama has just made history upon taking the presidential oath of office. The national economy is at a low point in the Great Recession. And the Pittsburgh Steelers are the first NFL team to win six Super Bowls. Ten years later, as 2019 gives way to… Read More

President Donald Trump takes questions from the media before boarding Maine One at the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, en route to Camp David in Maryland.

WATCH: How Trump’s Stance on Energy-efficient Appliances is Connected to Nostalgia

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For years, Washington has seen a bipartisan push to change laws, regulations and incentives to make household appliances and goods more energy efficient. In a warming world, many scientists and advocates say even tougher standards should be set. But President Trump is moving to roll back some of those laws, arguing they’ve gone too far…. Read More

A sign promotes a climate activist group in Athens, Ohio

WATCH: Despite Extreme Weather and Surging Activism, 2019 Saw Political Paralysis on Climate

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By almost any measure, 2019 was a year of especially sobering news on climate change, with grim warnings about what could happen in the future along with extreme weather events occurring now. The year also saw a global protest movement, initiated by young people, arise to try to tackle the problem. But as Miles O’Brien… Read More

A man stands in front of a levee

Rising Waters: Aging Levees, Climate Change And The Challenge To Hold Back The Ohio River

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When 78-year-old Jim Casto looks at the towering floodwalls that line downtown Huntington, West Virginia, he sees a dark history of generations past. The longtime journalist and local historian is short in stature, yet tall in neighborhood tales. On Casto’s hand shines a solid gold ring, signifying his more than 40 years of reporting at… Read More

Volunteers swim in Peachtree Falls after cleaning up trash in the nearby creek.

Two Decades of Resistance: Coal River Mountain Watch Takes Stock at 20


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Coal River Mountain Watch’s history of resistance to mountaintop coal mining is plastered across the wood-paneled walls of the group’s modest office in Raleigh County, West Virginia. Framed photos, many of demonstrators being handcuffed, dot the walls. In the back of the building, a floor-to-ceiling length tapestry depicts the “true cost of coal” as envisioned… Read More