Environmental Protection Agency

Kara Lofton / WVPB

When President Trump wants to talk coal, he comes to West Virginia. So it was not surprising that the president visited Charleston just hours after his administration unveiled a long-awaited overhaul of the Obama administration’s signature climate change regulation, the Clean Power Plan.

Erica Peterson / WFPL

The Trump administration has unveiled a replacement to Obama-era greenhouse gas regulations. The new plan, called the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule would give states more flexibility over emission standards at coal-fired power plants and save utilities hundreds of millions of dollars annually. But the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s projections estimate it would also increase the country’s carbon emissions and fuel more premature deaths.

Gage Skidmore, Flickr Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Republican West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito pressed the head of the Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday over recently released emails that show White House and EPA officials attempted to delay a new federal standard for C-8 and other similar toxic water-polluting chemicals, which have for decades been detected in several water systems in the Ohio Valley.

Glynis Board | Ohio Valley ReSource

Last month the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt chose an eastern Kentucky mining town as the venue to announce his intent to repeal the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era rule that sought to limit greenhouse gas emissions. On Tuesday the agency returned to coal country to conduct its only public hearing on the matter in Charleston, West Virginia. 

Since President Trump took office in January, enforcement of environmental laws has dropped dramatically, compared with past administrations. A study released by the Environmental Integrity Project finds that $12 million in civil penalties have been collected from violators in 26 cases between January and the end of July.

Nicole Erwin, WKMS

An environmental group’s new report shows a broad range of contaminants occur in many drinking water systems in the Ohio Valley, even though the water meets federal requirements. The research highlights the gap between what regulations require and what many scientists and health advocates recommend for safe drinking water.

Erica Peterson | wfpl.org

The Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection is moving forward with new regulations that weaken the state’s prior review of coal ash landfills. If they are enacted, there will be no comprehensive permitting process for the large-scale landfills that hold coal combustion waste near power plants.

Courtesy CVI

When President Donald Trump signed his latest executive order last week, he surrounded himself with coal miners and returned to a familiar campaign theme: “job-killing” regulations. But in some corners of coal country, an environmental regulation is creating jobs. Stream restoration is part of a multi-billion dollar business, and some displaced miners are tapping into that revenue stream. Glynis Board of the Ohio Valley ReSource reports. 

Update 7:06 P.M. Eastern: The EPA says it's reversing course and keeping chlorpyrifos on the market.

That's despite the agency's earlier conclusion, reached during the Obama administration, that this pesticide could pose risks to consumers. It's a signal that toxic chemicals will face less restrictive regulation by the Trump administration.

J. Tyler Franklin/WFPL News

Ahead of President Trump’s executive order that will begin rolling back power plant emission rules, Gov. Matt Bevin predicted that the move will bring back jobs to Kentucky’s coal fields.

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