Public Frack Complaints Unearthed
Some 9,442 public fracking complaints spanning 12 years were uncovered at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection by Public Herald, a nonprofit journalism outlet.
Bill to Study Health Impact of Mountaintop Removal Introduced
On Feb. 1, Reps. John Yarmuth (KY-3) and Louise Slaughter (NY-25) sought to stop mountaintop removal coal mining long enough to study its health impacts by reintroducing the Appalachian Community Health Emergency Act.
N.C. Air Quality Improves
According to the EPA, air quality in North Carolina has improved over the last decade. A 79 percent drop in air emissions can be attributed to fewer pollutants being produced by power plants. Duke Energy has retired seven of its 14 plants in N.C.
EPA to Estimate Coal Job Losses
A federal judge ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is required by law to evaluate the number of coal and power plant jobs put at risk by Clean Air Act regulations. The coal company Murray Energy brought the lawsuit against the EPA. The agency faces a July 1 deadline to identify facilities impacted by Obama-era air regulations.
W.Va. Coal Company Settles Water Pollution Lawsuit
Three environmental groups settled a lawsuit with Pocahontas Land Corporation regarding claims that a mountaintop removal coal mine was polluting the tributaries of the Tug Fork River in West Virginia.
Pocahontas agreed to test the water and apply for a Clean Water Act permit, as well as pay reasonable costs and attorney fees.
Company Fined for Frack Waste
Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet signed a $95,000 civil penalty for Advance Disposal Services’ Blue Ridge Landfill in Estill County after a state investigation revealed that 92 loads of radioactive fracking waste was illegally brought from West Virginia. Blue Ridge must deposit $60,000 of the fine into an escrow account for the school district to use toward educational programs or detection and mitigation, according to the Associated Press.
Clean Energy Resolutions in N.C.
On Jan. 19, the Watauga County Board of Commissioners joined the town of Boone, N.C., in approving a resolution of support for 100 percent clean energy for the state and country by 2050.
PA Stream Temporarily Protected
The Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board ordered Consol Energy not to mine beneath Kent Run, a stream in Ryerson Station State Park, while an appeal of the company’s mining permit is underway. Similar mining operations in the park have drained other streams. A Consol spokesman says the company plans to appeal the decision.