Fracking Waste Disposal Still A Question

Written by Glynis Board and Ashton Marra on . Posted in Media, Uncategorized

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The House and Senate have spent weeks working on House Bill 4411 dealing with the disposal of hydraulic fracturing drill cuttings in land fills. Earlier in the session, the House of Delegates held a public hearing on the issue. But members could not agree on the terms of the bill and late Saturday evening it ended up in a conference committee.

The conference agreement came down to this: landfills who want to accept drill cuttings from fracking sites must apply for permits from the Department of Environmental Protection and the Public Service Commission. So far, seven are in the process of doing so. Those seven would be the only landfills allowed to apply for the permits for two years. They must put radon detectors at their front gates to test trucks, cannot mix the drill cuttings with municipal waste and must charge a $1 fee per ton they accept. The first $750 thousand collected will go toward a study on the waste due to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance next year.

That agreement, however, did not make it to the clerks’ desks in time to be put to a vote and the bill died, leaving no legislative restrictions on these cuttings and their disposal.

WVWRI Director to Speak at Upcoming Event Hosted by WVU Environmental Law Society

Written by Tamara Vandivort on . Posted in Events, News, Uncategorized

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West Virginia Water Research Institute Director, Dr. Paul Ziemkiewicz, will be a speaker at an upcoming event hosted by the West Virginia University Environmental Law Society.  The event, called “Protecting West Virginia Water:  Legislation, Litigation, and Lessons Learned for the Future of Water Regulation in West Virginia,” will provide an overall analysis of how safe public water resources are in West Virginia, as well as what changes may come in water-related regulation as a result of the chemical spill in the Elk River.  

Speakers at the event will include:

John Unger II
West Virginia Senate Majority Leader

Patrick McGinley, JD
West Virginia University College of Law

Paul Ziemkiewicz, PhD
West Virginia Water Research Institute

Alexandra Dunn, JD
Association of Clean Water Administrators

Robert Gupta, MD
Kanawha Charelston Health Departement

The event will take place on Monday, March 24th, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. in the Lugar Court Room at the WVU College of Law.

For more information about this event, visit:

WV Water Research Institute Solicits Abstracts for 2014 Water Conference

Written by WVUToday on . Posted in News, Uncategorized

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2014 Logo for WVWRI Website Gallery 2

The West Virginia Water Research Institute, a program of the National Research Center for Coal and Energy at West Virginia University, is accepting abstracts through May 30 for the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Regional Water Conference.

 The Conference combines exceptional educational programs with opportunities for researchers, policy makers, regulators, agencies and the public to share in the latest information, technologies and research relating to the Mid-Atlantic region’s water resources.

The West Virginia Water Research Institute will be one of several Mid-Atlantic National Institutes for Water Resources to co-host the Conference. The Conference will take place on Sept. 24 and 25 at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown.

The theme for this year’s Conference is, “The Future of Mid-Atlantic Water Infrastructure: Challenges and Solutions.” Researchers from colleges and universities, federal and state agencies, private organizations, consulting firms, industry and students are invited to submit abstracts for consideration for oral presentation. Abstracts for basic and applied research papers are being solicited in all areas related to water infrastructure including drinking water, dams, hazardous waste, levees, wastewater, storm water and others.

“Water infrastructure is a vitally important issue moving into the future,” said Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute. “January’s chemical spill on the Elk River in West Virginia highlighted the need to seriously study the Nation’s water infrastructure to find better ways to protect source water and to improve the resiliency of the entire water system.”

For more information about the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Regional Water Conference and complete abstract submission details, visit:

The West Virginia Water Research Institute has been in existence since 1967 and serves as a statewide vehicle for performing research related to water issues. It is the premier water research center in West Virginia and, within selected fields, an international leader.

Experts to field water questions in show

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CHARLESTON — “The Law Works,” a weekly television show on West Virginia PBS that discusses legal issues affecting the lives of West Virginians, will conduct a special one-hour live call-in show Thursday, Feb. 13, focused on the Jan. 9 chemical spill into the Elk River that affected residents in nine West Virginia counties.

Scheduled guests for the show include: Alan Ducketman, M.D., professor in occupational and environmental health sciences at West Virginia University; Paul F. Ziemkiewicz, Ph.D., director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute; and Patrick C. McGinley, professor at the West Virginia University College of Law.

“I’m looking forward to a lively discussion,” program host Dan Ringer said in a press release. “Water safety is something we all take for granted, and this incident has shown just how fragile our water resources are. I’m hoping this episode of ‘The Law Works’ will help people better understand their rights and expectations when it comes to managing natural resources we all depend on.”

Calls will be taken from 8 p.m. the day of the show until a few minutes before 9 p.m.

“The Law Works” regularly airs at 8:30 p.m. each Thursday on WV PBS and Fridays at 11 a.m. on WV PBS 2, where available.

More information about this week’s and recent topics from the program is available at The Law Works website,, including YouTube postings of recent programs.

UPDATE –  Below is “The Law Works” special call-in program that aired on February 13, 2014.