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Thompson Pump Environmental Remediation

See Recent News Releases
January 25, 2018 - January 31, 2018
Wed 01/28
Electronic Permitting training for the mining industry Amy Halstead Ext. 1484
DEP Headquarters, 601 57th Street SE, Charleston
asbestos removal sydney
February 01, 2018 - February 07, 2018
Thu 02/05
Blaster's Training - Diana Smith 926-0499 ext 1498
DEP Headquarters - 601 57th Street SE, Charleston
February 08, 2018 - February 14, 2018
No Events Scheduled
February 15, 2018 - February 21, 2018
Tue 02/17
Blaster's Exam - Diana Smith 926-0499 ext 1498
DEP Headquarters - 601 57th Street SE, Charleston

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Applications Available for the 2018 WV Make It Shine Statewide Cleanup

Applications are now available for the 2018 WV Make It Shine Statewide Cleanup.  This annual event is jointly sponsored by the Department of Environmental Protection and the Division of Highways.  During the first two weeks of April, the WV Make It Shine program will provide resources such as cleanup materials, waste hauling and landfill fees to community groups volunteering to conduct litter cleanups on streams or public lands. 
More than 3,000 West Virginia citizens participated in last year’s statewide cleanup, removing more than 150 tons of litter and more than 4,000 tires from our state’s landscape.

The application deadline for those wishing to participate is February 15, 2018 and applications for this year’s cleanup may be obtained by contacting Travis Cooper of the WV Make It Shine Program at 1-800-322-5530, or by email at

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Public Meetings on Developing a Total Maximum Daily Load for the Ohio River Take Place in January

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has initiated a project to reduce bacteria levels in the Ohio River.   Nearly 500 miles of the river are considered impaired because of elevated bacteria levels, which means that, at times, the river may not be suitable for recreational use.

In collaboration with the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) and the six states that border the Ohio River, EPA will develop a total maximum daily load (TMDL) for bacteria in the river.  The Clean Water Act and U.S. EPA regulations require TMDLs for impaired waters.  A TMDL determines the maximum amount of a pollutant that a stream can receive and still support its designated uses; and is considered a clean-up plan for polluted streams and rivers.

Two public information meetings are planned along the Ohio River this January to discuss development of the bacteria TMDL.  The first meeting is scheduled for January 21 at the Williamstown City Hall, in the council chambers, 100 West 5th Street beginning at 6:30 p.m.  

The second meeting, which may be more convenient for stakeholders in West Virginia’s northern panhandle, is scheduled for January 22 at 1:30 p.m., at the Pennsylvania DEP office located at 500 Waterfront Drive in Pittsburgh. West Virginia DEP representatives will be available at both locations.

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2018 REAP Recycling Grants Awarded by Governor Manchin

Charleston - Today, Governor Joe Manchin III announced the recipients of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection REAP Recycling Assistance Grants. There were 35 individual applicants approved for amounts totaling more than $1.4 million. The grants were awarded to state solid waste authorities, county commissions, municipalities, private industries and nonprofit organizations. "Over the years, these grants have helped bring awareness of the importance of recycling to West Virginians of all ages," Governor Manchin said at the award ceremony. "Right now, the market for recyclable materials is down, but regardless of the selling price the need for recycling and the role it plays in the betterment of our state doesn't change." Funding for the recycling assistance program is generated through $1 assessment fee per ton of solid waste disposed of at in-state landfills and is provided by WV Code 22-15A-19(h) (1).

2018 REAP Recycling Assistance Grant Recipients

Berkeley County Solid Waste Authority $112,200
Boone County Commission $53,190
Town of Sutton $19,618
Goodwill Industries of KYOWVA $39,963
Huntington Area Habitat for Humanity, Inc. (ReStore) $55,075
Marshall University $65,000
Historic Fayetteville Convention & Visitors Bureau $59,350
Region 8 Solid Waste Authority $20,000
Greenbrier County Schools $26,389
Enterprise Sanitation $63,550
Town of Belle $4,000
Recycling Coalition of WV $42,525
Lincoln County Solid Waste Authority $25,800
City of Bluefield $37,100
City of Princeton $3,500
Shawnee Scrap $17,200
Mon County Habitat for Humanity $43,600
PC Renewal $13,000
New River Trading $49,328
City of Summersville $24,000
Town of Terra Alta $19,375
Putnam County Solid Waste Authority $53,200
Control Products $35,000
Summers County Commission $50,400
Refuse Control Systems $56,354
Taylor County Solid Waste Authority $51,429
City of Buckhannon $75,000
West Virginia Wesleyan College $6,500
Upshur County Solid Waste Authority $17,230
Wayne County Solid Waste Authority $38,560
Trappers Den $35,000
Harold's Refuse Removal $22,300
City of Parkersburg $77,000
West Virginia University at Parkersburg $44,831
Wyoming County Commission $54,500

Click the link below to view additional photos

The Wyoming County Commission received a grant for $54,500 to purchase a recycling flatbed truck, haler and a forklift. - Click to view a larger version of the image. West Virginia University at Parkersburg received a grant for $44,831 to purchase recycling containers and a 3-bin recycling trailor to provide support for the campus-wide program. - Click to view a larger version of the image.

Actual 990 FORM 2019-2020 and previous years, printable File in PDF and DOC.

DEP and DOH Finds Additional Storage Location for Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority

The Department of Environmental Protection and the Division of Highways have teamed up to help the Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority find a place to store some of the recycled goods that can’t be moved because of a lagging market.

With the selling price for recyclable materials dropping because of decreased demand, the KCSWA was running out of space for recyclable items such as plastic, metals and cardboard, as well as other items.

Randy Huffman, Cabinet Secretary for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection was concerned about the storage problem and stepped in to help find a solution. He, along with Paul Mattox, Cabinet Secretary for the Department of Transportation, worked together to establish the Division of Highways’ Nitro Sign Shop as a location where the KCSWA can store some of the materials until the market picks up again.

“I contacted Secretary Mattox to see if we could identify a location in the county that could accommodate the excess materials to help the authority while the market is down,” Huffman said. “We don’t want what could be a temporary lull in the market to derail the momentum of the recycling programs in the area. Recycling, along with energy conservation, is a valuable part of the overall effort to improve the environment.”

Like Huffman, Norm Steenstra, director of the KCSWA, doesn’t want that to curtail the recycling efforts in the county.

“I don’t want the many recycling programs in the county to suffer because we don’t have the space,” Steenstra said. “Having another location for storage will help us better serve the county until we are able to find a use for some of items we have collected.”

Mattox said, “This effort illustrates what can be accomplished when agencies share a common goal.  Anytime the Department of Transportation can assist in the preservation of this wild and wonderful environment we share, we are happy to do so.”

“This is an excellent example of intergovernmental cooperation, and we really appreciate the state’s efforts,” Steenstra said.

The cities of Charleston, South Charleston, Dunbar and St. Albans all now have the option of taking their plastics and containers to the storage area.


recycle_logo.jpg. - Click to view a larger version of the image.
Art contest to raise air quality awareness

Charleston – Kanawha County students will have an opportunity to use their artistic talents to remind drivers that vehicle idling can be harmful to their health, wastes money and impacts the environment.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is sponsoring an “Idle-Free Zone” art contest, which is open to all K-12 students in Kanawha County. Thirteen drawings will be chosen to be placed in the 2018-2010 school-year calendar. The calendars will be distributed at the beginning of the school year to all Kanawha County schools that participate.

Each entrant must create original artwork which depicts various aspects of the air quality message, which is “You’re the key to being idle-free.”

“We are pleased to be able to engage young people in helping to promote a cleaner environment for future generations,” said John Benedict, Director of the Division of Air Quality.

An idling vehicle gets the worst gas mileage possible - 0 miles per gallon. Not idling a vehicle is a quick and easy way to save money at the pump.

Over the past 18 months, DEP has been working with the State Board of Education to reduce school bus idling and create idle-free zones at all West Virginia schools. Vehicle exhaust emissions are a major source of air pollution, which affects the environment and the health of individuals. The contest is the next step to educate parents, grandparents and other drivers of the importance of turning off their engines if parked for more than 30 seconds.

“With its high student population, we thought doing the first calendar in Kanawha County would provide us an opportunity to gauge the interest,” Benedict said.

Students whose drawings are selected will receive a $50 gift certificate and their art teachers will receive a $25 gift certificate. The grand prize winner’s drawing will be placed on the front cover of the calendar, while the other 12 selected drawings will be placed on one of the months.

The contest is open to Kanawha County students between the ages of 5 and 18 years old. Entries must be submitted by March 13, 2018. Information on contest rules may be obtained by visiting the Division of Air Quality’s website,, or by contacting Stephanie Hammonds at 304-926-0499, Ext. 1234.


Idle Free Sign. - Click to view a larger version of the image.

Draft 2015 West Virginia Integrated Water Quality and Assessment Report

The DEP has submitted the Draft 2015 West Virginia Integrated Water Quality and Assessment Report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for approval.  The Integrated Report, complete with the Section 303(d) list was sent to EPA’s Region III office on October 17, 2015. 

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Electronic Permitting, Discharge Monitoring Reports and EQuIS BWQ available Jan 1

In an effort to increase efficiency, reduce paper consumption and take advantage of available technology, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection will begin accepting mining permits and discharge monitoring reports electronically beginning in 2018. Background Water Quality information associated with Electronic Permitting Applications will be accepted via file uploads to the EQuIS Chemistry System.

To train representatives from the mining industry on the electronic permitting process and municipal and industrial entities on the process for filing electronic discharge monitoring reports, the DEP is offering training from now through December.

While filing discharge monitoring reports electronically will remain optional, all mining permit applications submitted to the Division of Mining and Reclamation will be required to be filed electronically after January 1, 2018.

The training sessions will take place at the DEP Headquarters, located at 601 57th Street SE in Charleston.

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The Great Kanawha River Cleanup

The Great Kanawha River Cleanup took place Saturday, Sept. 13. More than 100 volunteers from throughout the area volunteered to help at six sites along the river from Fayette, Kanawha and Putnam counties. The volunteers removed 6.89 tons of litter and debris, and 52 tires from the waters and banks of the Kanawha River.

Click the link below to view an additional photo

Nearly 7 tons of litter and debris, and 52 tires were removed from the water and river banks from Gauley Bridge to Winfield. - Click to view a larger version of the image. Honor students from Andrew Jackson Middle School, in Cross Lanes, helped with the clean up. - Click to view a larger version of the image.

DEP partners with WVU to study switchgrass on former surface mines

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and West Virginia University have begun working together to study the potential for growing switchgrass on sites of former surface mines across the state.

Switchgrass is a tall grass that grows from three- to ten-feet tall, has a deep root system and grows annually after harvesting. It is often used to rehabilitate exhausted croplands by rebuilding soil structure, nutrients and organic matter. Switchgrass can also be converted to ethanol, which is a flammable alcohol and can be made by fermenting plant products such as corn, barley, wood and straw.

"Last year, 20 percent of the U.S. corn crop was used to produce five billion gallons of ethanol, which is about one percent of petroleum consumption in the United States," said Paul Ziemkiewicz, PhD, with the WVU Water Research Institute. "If our entire corn crop went to ethanol production, it would only replace seven percent of our annual petroleum use. In addition to competing for limited cropland, corn-based ethanol production consumes nearly as much energy as it produces."

According to a recent report by the National Academy of Science, the net energy yield of switchgrass ethanol was about six times better than corn ethanol.

"While corn ethanol will continue to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, we clearly need to develop additional sources for ethanol production," said Governor Joe Manchin III. "This study is designed to provide us the information we need to determine whether developing a switchgrass-based industry in West Virginia is the direction we want to go."

"Large surface mines can range from 1,000 to 12,000 acres; many have road networks, access to transportation, water, utilities and even locations for ethanol processing facilities," said Ken Ellison, Director of the WVDEP Division of Land Restoration. "But first, we need to know how many tons of switchgrass hay will be produced on an acre of mined land, track developments in ethanol conversion technology and the economics of ethanol production and processing."

  The project will be managed by the Water Research Institute at WVU. The researchers will test the performance of three switchgrass varieties in large, ten-acre plots in both northern and southern West Virginia. Hay yields and carbon sequestration will be measured over a seven-year period; and researchers will document costs related to switchgrass plot establishment, harvesting and maintenance.  

"This project is an example of the DEP's continuing effort to find productive uses for mine lands," said Stephanie Timmermeyer, Cabinet Secretary for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. "If we discover that growing switchgrass on these lands is a successful endeavor, it is the perfect example of an enterprising and environmentally healthy use of those lands."

Image of Switchgrass - Switchgrass is a tall grass that grows from three- to ten-feet tall, has a deep root system and grows annually after harvesting. Switchgrass can be converted to ethanol, which is a flammable alcohol and can be made by fermenting plant products such as corn, barley, wood and straw. The DEP and WVU are studying whether switchgrass can be successfully grown on the state's mine lands.
  - Click to view a larger version of the image.
Number of Idle Free Zones increasing at state schools

Many West Virginia schools are encouraging bus drivers and parents to turn off their engines when dropping off and picking up students. No Ideling signs are popping up at schools in 50 counties that are participating in the collaborative effort between West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Education to establish idle free zones.

The Idle Free Zone campaign is an outreach project targeted at reducing diesel emissions from school buses, but includes exhaust emissions from passenger vehicles and delivery trucks on school property.  The signs are meant to encourage compliance with the WV State Board of Education policy 4336 to minimize idling.  The goal is to raise awareness and stop or limit engine idling.

The idle free zone signs are free to the approximately 800 public schools in the state, and to private schools and Head Start locations as well.  To date, 50 county public school systems, 12 Head Start programs and a few private schools are participating.

 "By not idling, you use less fuel, save money, and help air quality," said Renu Chakrabarty, the DEP's team leader for the Idle Free Zone.  "It's a win-win situation."

 For more information about the idle free zone project, go to the Division of Air Quality section of this website and click on the Idle Free Zone graphic, or go to the diesel exhaust emissions link on the right side of the page.  To inquire about the free signs, school administrators may contact Tammy Mowrer at (304) 926-0499 ext. 1237, or e-mail her at


Idle Free Sign. - Click to view a larger version of the image.
Promoting a Healthy Environment.