After the WV Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued a notice on November 5, 2020 that it was authorizing the Rockwool stone wool insulation manufacturing facility in Ranson to operate under a general water pollution control permit, the Jefferson County Foundation noted that the source water protection area map submitted as part of the facility’s application process marked only 4 drinking water wells within the one mile buffer zone.
One hundred years ago, underneath the Old Opera House in Charles Town, locals and tourists danced the night away beside a crystal-clear lake inside a cavern filled with orchestral tones. Today, the Lakeland Caverns cave is quiet, all entries sealed off from the public.
The cover of John Woods’ debut novel Lady Chevy portrays a mountain landscape against an orange-hued backdrop. The colors may depict an oddly-tinted sunset or, more likely, the fiery, sulfurous sky of a land ravaged by the fracking industry, where flares emerging from giant towers light the horizon and tainted aquifers, flammable tap water, and earthquakes have become a normal occurrence.
On October 23, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) will hold a public hearing on Rockwool’s applications for two stormwater permits. The hearing will begin at 6pm in the Storer Ballroom of the Shepherd University Student Center and will end at 8pm. Any citizen concerned about drinking water should come to this hearing.
When Jefferson County’s municipal water customers turn on their faucets, they may not think about saving farmland or Civil War battlefields. Martin Burke, chair of the Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission, would like to change that.
A family film festival isn’t the first thing that comes to mind to spread the word about protecting water supplies. And that’s exactly why West Virginia Rivers Coalition sponsored the series as part of its Safe Water for West Virginia. “Most of what impacts water supply happens upstream of the intake, where the majority of county residents live and work,” said Autumn Crowe, program director for WV Rivers. “What we do on our lawns and parking lots matters, too.”