West Virginia Legislative Rules Committee Votes to Weaken Some Water Quality Standards

On December 9, a Joint Committee of the West Virginia Legislature voted 7-4 to approve a proposed water quality rule submitted by the Department of Environmental Protection.  The proposed rule weakens 13 current standards.   All seven Republicans on the Committee, including Patricia Rucker of Jefferson County, voted in favor.  The rule must go to the […]

Mountaineer Gas Pipeline Explodes in Martinsburg

Workers digging to install a new pipeline next to an older one on private property near Martinsburg struct the older line causing an explosion on September 21. Pressurized gas shot 80 to 100 feet in the air causing the evacuation of the homeowners. There was no fire. Rockwool opponents Jefferson County Foundation say this is […]

Michigan Bald Eagle Attacks Drone, Rips Off Propeller

A bald eagle in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula attacked a shoreline mapping drone on July 21, ripping off its propeller and sending it down in 4 feet of water. In its last 3.5 seconds of operation, the drone sent out 27 frantic distress messages. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, owner of the […]

North Carolina Denies Water Permit to Mountain Valley Pipeline

On August 11, 2020 the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality rejected a water permit for a 75-mile branch of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Overall, the MVP is a 300-mile project designed to transmit gas from nothwestern West Virginia to Virginia.  NCDEQ explained that the North Carolina branch depended on completion of the MVP mainline […]

WV Oil and Gas Industry Wants Feds to Pay for Plugging Abandoned Wells

The West Virginia oil and gas industry and the surface owners’ rights lobby want to shift the cost of plugging abandoned oil and gas wells to a federally funded program. Several bills introduced in the Legislature last session would have made oil and gas drillers themselves pay a fee for this purpose upon applying to […]

BP To Cut Oil Production By 40% Over the Decade

BP, one of the world’s largest oil companies, announced August 4, 2020 that it would cut its oil and gas production 40% and increase its renewable electric power output twenty-fold within the next ten years. It also expects to direct a third of its capital spending — $5 billion to $7 billion — toward low-carbon […]

Elliot Simon to Face John Doyle for 67th District Delegate Seat

Elliot Simon has been appointed by the Jefferson County Republican Party to challenge incumbent John Doyle for Delegate in the 67th District, including Harpers Ferry and Shepherdstown. The original Republican candidate, Mark Everhart, withdrew after disclosure of prior legal troubles. Simon ran against Doyle for the same set in 2010 but narrowly lost. In 2012, […]

WV Absentee Ballot Available in General Election to Those With COVID-19 Concern

West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner announced on July 27, 2020 that absentee ballots will be available to those who apply and list as a reason “illness, injury or other medical reason which keeps me confined.” Because the state continues under Governor Justice’s stay at home order, we are all “confined” and eligible for […]

Trophy Rainbow Trout Caught in Kanawha River

Surprising the angler and biologists, a twenty-one inch Rainbow Trout was recently caught in the Kanawha River near downtown Charleston. Trout are rare in the Kanawha in July, when water temperatures can reach 80 degrees. Read more on The Charleston Gazette-Mail or download the PDF»

Potomac Riverkeepers Plan Suit Against Coal Company for Contaminated Stormwater

Environmental groups, including the Potomac Riverkeepers, issued a notice of intent to sue D & L Coal Company of Keyser, West Virginia, for allegedly allowing stormwater contaminated with coal waste to enter the North Branch of the Potomac River. D & L’s coal loading operation formerly served the closed Luke, Maryland, paper mill. Read more […]