Please register below. Visitors can attend the Keynote Talk @ 1 PM via Zoom

Greetings from the League of Women Voters of West Virginia

Here is an electronic copy of the League of Women Voters of West Virginia Spring 2021 Voter newsletter. Please distribute widely.

Make sure to register at https://convention.lwvwv.org to attend the 2021 State Convention on May 15! The times are 10 am to 3 pm.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Kenneth C. Martis, Emeritus Professor of Geography at WVU will give a quick history about redistricting and current legal standings including a focus on redistricting in WV, pending State legislation, and deadlines @ 1pm. THIS TALK IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC FOR ANYONE WHO REGISTERS, AT NO CHARGE, PLEASE NOTE IF YOU ARE A VISITOR.

You will be emailed a Zoom link.

Registration is open here.

Jonathan Rosenbaum, President

{ 0 comments }

Public information meeting on proposed NIOSH research mine

CDC/NIOSH holds open house for proposed underground research facility in northern Pocahontas County, WV

From an Article by Heather Niday, Allegheny Mountain Radio, March 13, 2021

Representatives of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health [NIOSH] and its parent organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were the hosts for an open house at the Linwood public library near Snowshoe on March 6th to answer questions about a proposed underground testing lab and research center near Mace on the Pocahontas-Randolph county line. The proposed 460 acre site which borders US Route 219 is owned by the Consortium for Silver Creek Group. The West Virginia Secretary of State’s office identifies David. L. Litsey, a Snowshoe area homeowner as the owner of the consortium.

A cross section of people attended the 3 hour open house including local residents, business owners and county government officials. The Mace site would replace the Lake Lynn Experimental Mine, an underground chamber in a limestone quarry located in Fairchance, Pennsylvania. That site was operated by NIOSH from 1982 until 2012 when the property owner declined to sell or extend the lease on the property. A Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Mace site was posted online in February. Sam Tarr of the Office of Safety, Security and Asset Management for the CDC explained what they were looking for from the public meeting.

“The whole Environmental Impact Statement process is public involvement so we go out and do due diligence to understand what impacts it may have,” said Tarr. “But it also gives the community, you guys live here daily, an opportunity to come and bring forward anything that maybe we’d overlooked; more importantly than overlooked that we’re just unaware of.”

Jeff Welsh, Associate Director of Science for the CDC/NIOSH said the Mace site would be used for research similar to that performed at the Lake Lynn site. “What we did there is a lot of our explosion research and what that is, is looking at ways of preventing explosions from happening,” he said.

Many folks have questions about locating a facility in the Karst limestone that is so much a part of the Pocahontas county geology, but Welsh said it’s not really a factor. “It doesn’t have an effect,” Welch said. “What we want to create is just like what an underground mine would look like so we can do experiments in full scale.

Pocahontas County Commissioner Walt Helmick spoke in favor of the project. “I think it’s a project that fits Pocahontas County,” he said. “It’s a project that doesn’t have as far as I’m concerned any significant environmental issues and we’ll find out all those things, but no, I tend to be in favorite of it.” Helmick said he’d also like to have more information about the potential economic impact the site could have on the county.

The project would potentially affect five federally listed species at the site through habitat loss or disruption including Northern Long-eared and Indiana Bats and the Cheat Mountain Salamander. NIOSH says that consultation with the US Fish and Wildlife service under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act is ongoing.

Autumn Crowe, Staff Scientist with West Virginia Rivers, says it’s difficult to form an opinion about the project because she said the DEIS is deficient. “I really feel like they need more information in order to make the conclusion that there will be no impacts to ground water,” said Crowe. “A lot of people are concerned about the well water and the springs; that’s their main source of drinking water. We want to make sure their concerns are addressed for this project and right now I’m not seeing that those concerns can be alleviated because there’s not enough information to conclude that there’s no impacts to the ground water.”

Crowe said they are also concerned about discrepancies between the DEIS and the WV Division of Natural Resources regarding caves on the proposed site. She said the WV DNR has commented that there are caves on the site, but the DEIS states there are no caves. As for sinkholes, a feature that can be found in Karst, the DEIS states that no sinkholes were found during a survey of the site, but Crowe said only about 10 percent of the property was surveyed. She said they would prefer to have a more detailed terrain survey done on the entire site to look for possible sinkholes.

Copies of the Draft EIS can be obtained at:

>>> Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov (reference Docket No. CDC-2018-0057).

>>> Linwood Community Library, 72 Snowshoe Drive, Slatyfork, West Virginia 26291.

>>> By written request (electronic copies only) to: cdc-macewv-eis@cdc.gov.

{ 2 comments }

US DOE Awards $19 Million for Rare Earth Elements & Critical Minerals Research

May 11, 2021

Production of Critical Materials Essential for Clean Energy Projects — Maybe Create Jobs in Coal and Power Plant Communities Press Release from US Department of Energy, Washington DC, April 29, 2021 WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today awarded $19 million for 13 projects in traditionally fossil fuel-producing communities across the country [...]

Read the full article →

§ Federal Overview Planned to Protect United States Land and Water

May 10, 2021

Biden Presents Vision for Protecting 30% of U.S. Land, Waters by 2030 From an Article of Mongabay, EcoWatch.com, May 06, 2021 On Thursday, the Biden Administration formally laid out its vision for conserving 30% of America’s land and waters by 2030. The “America the Beautiful” report, released by the Departments of Commerce, Interior, and Agriculture, [...]

Read the full article →

Justification for Fracking Limitations in Eastern United States

May 9, 2021

Here’s why this new fracking ban in the Northeast is a big deal From an Article by Zola Teirstein, Grist Magazine, March 3, 2021 Fracking got banned in parts of four states, and the industry is livid. The Delaware River Basin, a 13,539-square-mile area bisected by a sparkling river that stretches from New York’s Catskill [...]

Read the full article →

DeSmog News — Greenwashing with ‘Renewable Natural Gas’

May 8, 2021

Message From the Editorial Board of DeSmog Blog, Worldwide Web From the Letter of Brendan DeMelle, Executive Director, DeSmog Blog, May 8, 2021 More than 40 cities have enacted bans on new gas infrastructure, but in the Pacific Northwest one company is trying a new tactic to head off climate policy. In recent months, Oregon [...]

Read the full article →

Multiple Violations and Fines Have Been Levied Against Marcellus Gas Operators

May 7, 2021

Natural gas investigations in PA lead to record fine, closed pipelines From an Article by Ad Crable, Bay Journal, 5/3/21 Pennsylvania’s robust natural gas industry has been embarrassed by three environmental scandals in 15 months. Among the fallout: temporarily closed pipelines, the state’s largest environmental fine, the elimination of streams, and the illegal burial or [...]

Read the full article →

Alta Resources Operating in N.E. Penna. Being Purchased by EQT Corporation for $3 Billion

May 6, 2021

Gas producer EQT Corp to buy private driller Alta Resources for $3 billion From an Article by Reuters News Service, May 6, 2021 EQT Corp., the largest U.S. natural gas producer, said on Thursday it will buy Blackstone-backed Appalachian basin rival Alta Resources for $2.93 billion in cash and stock, making an entry in the [...]

Read the full article →

Glacier Melting Rate Now Alarming — Sea Level Rise Will Be Rapid & Extreme

May 5, 2021

‘We Need to Act Now’: Study Reveals Glaciers Melting at Unprecedented Pace From an Article by Brett Wilkins, The Guardian UK, 4/28/21 Researchers warn of the need for urgent climate action as a study published Wednesday revealed that the world’s mountain glaciers are melting at an unprecedented pace, with glacial thinning rates outside Antarctica and [...]

Read the full article →

Producing ‘Renewable Methanol’ or ‘Green Methanol’ from Biomass at Scale

May 4, 2021

2020 – 2021 Renewable Methanol Webinars — Videos and Information From the Methanol Institute, World Wide Web, 2020 – 2021 The “Renewable Methanol: A Carbon-Neutral Fuel” webinar organized by the Methanol Institute took place on August 5, 2020. The webinar is organized with the support of presenting companies Clariant, Haldor Topsoe, bseEngineering, and Ørsted. The [...]

Read the full article →