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.
The Rockwool factory in Ranson has been encountering some rocky roads as of late and the fight to keep them from their final destination continues.
Shepherdstown resident Tracy Danzey grew up in the Parkersburg (WV) area, in a little town called Vienna—an idyllic childhood as she recalls, suburban and wooded, with plenty of time spent outdoors and, especially, in the water.
On December 16, several members of the House of Delegates, I included, held a press conference in Charleston at which we announced that we would be sponsoring a bill that would significantly improve drinking water protection.
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.
Polluted air and water, mass extinctions, depleted fisheries, shrinking forests, rising temperatures—humans are making a mess of the planet. But all is not lost (at least yet): “Solutions” is the theme of this year’s American Conservation Film Festival.
A major tool in tracking the impact of mountaintop removal coal mining (MTR) will soon be available—and is being created by Jefferson County’s own SkyTruth.