USDA, EPA partnership aims to support water quality, economy - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

USDA, EPA partnership aims to support water quality, economy

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  • Endless Wall Trail in New River Gorge closed due to brush fire.

    Endless Wall Trail in New River Gorge closed due to brush fire.

    Monday, April 21 2014 11:12 AM EDT2014-04-21 15:12:33 GMT
    Firefighters are dealing with a brush fire that has spread through the New River Gorge National River.
    Firefighters are dealing with a brush fire that has spread through the New River Gorge National River.
  • Three crews fight house fire in Shady Spring

    Three crews fight house fire in Shady Spring

    Three crews fight house fire in Shady Spring

    Sunday, April 20 2014 11:16 PM EDT2014-04-21 03:16:45 GMT
    Three fire departments worked to fight a house fire in Shady Spring, Raleigh County Sunday night.The fire started just after 8 p.m. in Country Road Estates.Everyone inside the home was able to make it out unharmed.Ghent, Beaver, and Coal City Fire Departments responded to the scene.Right now - the cause of the fire has not been determined but crews did say there was natural gas inside the home.As of 11 p.m. Sunday, the scene was still not cleared.
    Three fire departments worked to fight a house fire in Shady Spring, Raleigh County Sunday night.The fire started just after 8 p.m. in Country Road Estates.Everyone inside the home was able to make it out unharmed.Ghent, Beaver, and Coal City Fire Departments responded to the scene.Right now - the cause of the fire has not been determined but crews did say there was natural gas inside the home.As of 11 p.m. Sunday, the scene was still not cleared.
  • Several arrested after city-wide drug sweep in Greenbrier County

    Several arrested after city-wide drug sweep in Greenbrier County

    Several arrested after city-wide drug sweep in Greenbrier County

    Sunday, April 20 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-04-21 00:10:53 GMT
    Four men are arrested after a city-wide drug sweep in Greenbrier County.On Thursday, April 17 officers with Alderson Police Department along with the Greenbrier County Sheriff's Department and the West Virginia State Police made three felony arrests and one misdemeanor arrest on drug charges.Jeremy Lewis is charged with delivery of a controlled substance (marijuana) , possession with intent to deliver, and conspiracy to commit a felony.Ronald Cook Jr. is charged with two counts of delivery of...
    Four men are arrested after a city-wide drug sweep in Greenbrier County.On Thursday, April 17 officers with Alderson Police Department along with the Greenbrier County Sheriff's Department and the West Virginia State Police made three felony arrests and one misdemeanor arrest on drug charges.Jeremy Lewis is charged with delivery of a controlled substance (marijuana) , possession with intent to deliver, and conspiracy to commit a felony.Ronald Cook Jr. is charged with two counts of delivery of...
  • EnergyEnergyMore>>

  • Fracking foes cringe as unions back drilling boom

    Fracking foes cringe as unions back drilling boom

    Monday, April 21 2014 8:51 AM EDT2014-04-21 12:51:19 GMT
    After early complaints that out-of-state firms got the most jobs, some local construction trade workers and union members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia say they're now benefiting in a big way from the Marcellus and Utica Shale oil and gas boom.That vocal support from blue-collar workers complicates efforts by environmentalists to limit the drilling process known as fracking.
    After early complaints that out-of-state firms got the most jobs, some local construction trade workers and union members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia say they're now benefiting in a big way from the Marcellus and Utica Shale oil and gas boom.That vocal support from blue-collar workers complicates efforts by environmentalists to limit the drilling process known as fracking.
  • Engineering, mineral resources program makes connections

    Engineering, mineral resources program makes connections

    Saturday, April 19 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-04-19 13:00:16 GMT
    The Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University is wrapping up a year of connecting hands-on activities to elementary, middle and high school students.
    The Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University is wrapping up a year of connecting hands-on activities to elementary, middle and high school students.
  • WV Waterborne coal traffic down

    WV Waterborne coal traffic down

    Saturday, April 19 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-04-19 13:00:15 GMT
    The amount of coal moved on waterways in West Virginia was down in the first quarter of this year, continuing a long-term trend. 
    The amount of coal moved on waterways in West Virginia was down in the first quarter of this year, continuing a long-term trend. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency announced an expanded partnership Dec. 3 to focus on water quality trading and other market-based approaches to support both the environment and the economy.

"New water quality trading markets hold incredible potential to benefit rural America by providing new income opportunities and enhancing conservation of water and wildlife habitat," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "Additionally, these efforts will strengthen businesses across the nation by providing a new pathway to comply with regulatory requirements."

Water quality trading provides a cost-effective approach for regulated entities to comply with EPA Clean Water Act requirements, including water quality-based effluent limits in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits.

"EPA is committed to finding collaborative solutions that protect and restore our nation's waterways and the health of the communities that depend on them," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "We're excited about partnering with USDA to expand support for water quality trading, which shows that environmental improvements can mean a better bottom line for farmers and ranchers."

Trading would allow regulated entities to purchase and use pollutant reduction credits generated by other sources in a watershed.

Both organizations will: coordinate and enhance communications and outreach to states, agricultural producers, regulated sources and interested third parties on water quality trading; engage expertise across agencies in the review of grants, loans or technical assistance programs focused on water quality trading; share information on the development of rules and guidance that have the potential to affect water quality trading; collaborate on developing tools and information resources for states and credit generators to guide decision making, reduce costs in program design and implementation, improve environmental performance as well as foster consistency and integrity across regional initiatives; and co-host a workshop by 2015 to share available resources.