Energy Report

Environmental and cultural news from around the central and southern Appalachian region.



West Virginia Contends with Aftermath of 2014 Chemical Spill

February 9, 2017 Three years after the chemical MCHM spilled from a storage tank into the Elk River, leaving 300,000 West Virginia American Water Company customers without safe drinking water, a tentative settlement was reached between the private water utility and the state Public Service Commission and Consumer Advocate.


Virginia Uranium Mining Ban Lawsuit Continues

February 9, 2017 Lawyers for the company Virginia Uranium are seeking permission to mine for the element despite a current ban in the state.


Endangered Species Act Faces Threats

February 9, 2017 The Endangered Species Act, which protects endangered and threatened species of plants and animals, is under threat from members of the U.S. Congress hoping to limit its reach.


After Massive Wildfires, Region Recovers

February 9, 2017 Two months after wildfires raged across the Southeast in the fall of 2016, communities in Tennessee and North Carolina are recovering.


Update on Cleanup of CTS Superfund Site

February 9, 2017 On Nov. 22, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice announced a $9 million cleanup at the CTS of Asheville, Inc., Superfund Site.


Fonta Flora Trail to Span Over 70 Miles in N.C.

February 9, 2017 A new addition to the North Carolina State Park System, the Fonta Flora Trail, aims to attract visitors and unify towns in Western North Carolina.


Community Mural Highlights Kentucky Town

February 9, 2017 The town of Jenkins, Ky., is painting a mural as part of its “Our Town” project that will strengthen the cultural identity of the community and attract visitors.


Birthplace of Country Music Celebrates “Hometown Stars” and Other Shorts

February 8, 2017 The Birth Place of Country Music Museum highlights "Hometown Stars" in new exhibit, Asheville will retain ownership of its water system and an export facility for biomass opens in Wilmington, N.C.


DuPont to Pay $50 Million in Pollution Settlement

February 8, 2017 In a settlement reached in December 2016, DuPont Chemical will pay over $50 million for releasing mercury into Shenandoah Valley waterways.


Devastating Forest Fires Ignite Southeast

December 14, 2016 Numerous forest fires burned across the Southeast throughout the autumn. Nearly 120,000 acres of forest burned, and the city of Gatlinburg, Tenn., was badly damaged, with 14 lives lost.


W.V. Chemical Spill Settlement Reached

December 14, 2016 A settlement in a class-action lawsuit compensates residents affected by the Jan. 9, 2014, chemical spill at Freedom Industries in Charleston, W.Va., which dumped 7,500 gallons of the coal-washing chemical MCHM into the Elk River.


New POWER Initiative Grants Aim to Bolster Coal-Impacted Economies

December 14, 2016 An October round of POWER Initiative grants awarded nearly $28 million dollars of support for 42 projects in 13 states that have been negatively impacted by the decline of the coal industry.


Residents Seek to Halt New Development

December 14, 2016 A proposed city plan to erect a shopping center and sports complex in Abingdon, Va., along the Virginia Creeper Trail faces criticism.


Lifting Restrictions on Rural Broadband in East Tennessee

December 14, 2016 A coalition of organizations representing underserved and underrepresented areas in East Tennessee is working to bring broadband internet services to rural areas of the state.


Fifty Years of Foxfire Magazine

December 14, 2016 For 50 years, Foxfire Magazine has collected stories from Southern Appalachia.