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Orphan Wells: States Wrestle With Soaring Costs For Oil & Gas Industry Mess

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William Suan is no stranger to the problems abandoned oil and gas wells can cause. “It’s just an eyesore,” he said, standing inside a barn on his cattle ranch near Lost Creek, West Virginia. “I had to fence one off because it’s leaking now.” There are five inactive wells on his land, most installed in… Read More

Toxic “Teflon” Chemicals On EPA Regulatory Agenda

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Environmental Protection Agency officials told a Congressional panel Thursday that the agency will announce by the end of the year whether it will take the next step to regulate a group of toxic fluorinated chemicals found in some water systems in the Ohio Valley. The PFAS group of chemicals, which include PFOA or C-8, were widely… Read More

Reining In Abuse: Lax Laws On Animal Welfare Affect Pets And People

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Suzanna Johnson is an education officer with the Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue  in Camner, Kentucky. Johnson is looking after a pregnant horse she rescued recently. “Be good,” she instructs the mare, named CC, and pats her belly. CC is an elderly horse that has been pregnant for 18 of her 21 years. Now she is chowing down on grass,… Read More

Trump Power: Industry Analysts Say New Rule Will Not Fuel Coal Comeback

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When President Trump wants to talk coal, he comes to West Virginia. So it was not surprising that the president visited Charleston just hours after his administration unveiled a long-awaited overhaul of the Obama administration’s signature climate change regulation, the Clean Power Plan. “We’re cancelling Obama’s illegal, anti-coal-destroying regulations. The so-called Clean Power Plan,” Trump… Read More

In Ohio Valley Visits, Trump Administration Pushes Policies Supporting Mining And Metals

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In back-to-back events this week President Trump and his commerce secretary visited the Ohio Valley to tout administration policies aimed at propping up two of the region’s traditional but faltering industries — metals and mining. The president used a Tuesday rally filled with West Virginia coal miners to unveil a new plan to ease pollution… Read More

Rural Risk: Mobile Clinics Help Tackle Multifaceted Opioid Crisis

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In a room at the Letcher County Health Department in Whitesburg, Kentucky, about 20 people are learning how to use naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal medication. Among them is 18-year-old Morgan Hopkins. An aspiring therapist, Hopkins said she wants to be ready with naloxone if someone overdoses around her. “You never know what you’re going… Read More

Hazard Ahead: Ohio Valley Auto Industry Concerned About Trump Trade Policies

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Automotive manufacturing leaders met in Kentucky to discuss how changes in U.S. trade policy under President Trump affect the industry and its growing presence in the Ohio Valley. Industry leaders gathered for the annual AutoVision conference and many don’t like what they see coming. NAFTA 2.0 negotiations are ongoing, companies are paying tariffs for some steel and aluminum imports and… Read More

Federal Dust Fraud Charges Highlight Black Lung Threat For Miners

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When former coal mine employees in western Kentucky faced arraignment Wednesday on federal charges that they conspired to falsify the required monitoring of coal dust, the hearing brought renewed attention to the region’s surge in black lung disease. The case highlights the many challenges miners face in the workplace. And health officials in black lung clinics… Read More

Rural Counties Under Stress From Justice Companies’ Unpaid Taxes In Several States

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In October, 2016, NPR, Ohio Valley ReSource and its partners reported that West Virginia billionaire coal baron Jim Justice, who was running for governor as a Democrat, owned companies that owed roughly $15 million in overdue taxes and mine safety fines. This week, Gov. Justice, who is now a Republican, made an announcement about those taxes. “I think we… Read More