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State lawmakers consider benefits, legal complexity of rare earth elements draft legislation

WRI's Director, Paul Ziemkiemwicz addresses the Energy Committee. Perry Bennett/WV Legislative Photography

The concept behind draft legislation the West Virginia Joint Standing Energy Committee considered at an interim legislative session meeting this week is simple.

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Water Research Institute director updates WV legislators on rare earth recovery efforts, urges law clarifying ownership

The long-term environmental problem of acid mine drainage in West Virginia could offer a long-term economic solution.

West Virginia Water Research Institute Director Paul Ziemkiewicz made that pitch recently to the state Joint Economic Development Commission. The institute is assessing the feasibility of scaling up acid mine drainage treatment technology to support a nationwide supply chain of valuable rare earth elements and critical minerals.

Read Full Article: Water Research Institute director updates WV legislators on rare earth recovery efforts, urges law clarifying ownership

Moving Mountains: WVU engineers lead project to reclaim mine refuse site in West Virginia

(Pictured left to right) WVDEP Regional Engineer Nathan Parks, Assistant Professor Leslie Hopkinson, Director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute Paul Ziemkiewicz, and WVU graduate student Jeff Stevens at the Royal Scot mine site in Greenbrier C

(Pictured left to right) WVDEP Regional Engineer Nathan Parks, Assistant Professor Leslie Hopkinson, Director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute Paul Ziemkiewicz, and WVU graduate student Jeff Stevens at the Royal Scot mine site in Greenbrier County. (Submitted Photo)

Read Full Article: Moving Mountains: WVU engineers lead project to reclaim mine refuse site in West Virginia

EPA Selects West Virginia University Research Corporation for $1 Million Training and Technical Assistance Funding

PHILADELPHIA (April 22, 2021) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is announcing the selection of West Virginia University Research Corporation as one of six organizations to receive a total of $11 million in grants nationwide to provide training and technical assistance to communities.

The work is being funded by EPA’s Technical Assistance to Brownfields (TAB) Program.  West Virginia University Corporation will receive $1 million total over a five-year period to provide technical assistance primarily to underserved and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in the Mid-Atlantic Region (EPA Region 3) where environmental cleanup and new jobs are needed most. This assistance is available to all stakeholders and comes at no cost to communities. It is an important part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advance economic opportunities and address environmental justice issues in disadvantaged communities.

Read Full Article: EPA Selects West Virginia University Research Corporation for $1 Million Training and Technical Assistance Funding

From pollutant to resource: WVU scientists push rare earth element technologies closer to production

Water researchers at West Virginia University hope to turn a pollutant – acid mine drainage - into a technological resource through the continuation of a $2.1 million contract from the National Energy Technology Laboratory. 

The West Virginia Water Research Institute, a program of the Energy Institute at WVU, earned the funding to explore a nationwide supply chain, based on acid mine drainage treatment, that would produce at least 400 tons of rare earth elements and critical materials each year. 

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Preston County water conditions return to normal after heavy rain, mine discharge, WVU researchers conclude

Heavy rains last week pummeled the region hard enough to overwhelm an acid mine drainage treatment plant's plumbing system in Preston County, causing the discharge of untreated water into Muddy Creek, which feeds into the Cheat River. 

West Virginia University scientists joined the state Department of Environmental Protection in determining that stream conditions near the former T&T Mine in Albright returned to normal after rainfall and melting snow led to a high-flow event. The DEP reported on Friday that the discharge caused acid levels in Muddy Creek and Cheat River to spike. 

Read Full Article: Preston County water conditions return to normal after heavy rain, mine discharge, WVU researchers conclude

WVWRI Wraps Up Virtual Seminar Series

The West Virginia Water Research Institute (WVWRI) hosted a three-part virtual seminar series from December 2020 through February 2021 to share current research and remediation projects with interested outside organizations and the public.

The first session featured three research projects carried out by WVU researchers with funding from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) 104b program. These projects share the common focus of water quality and quantity. Presentations included:

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