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2019 Academic Media Day highlights economic potential

MORGANTOWN — Various aspects of how the Mountain State can improve its economy through somewhat unconventional means were detailed by West Virginia University faculty and staff Monday morning.

This came as part of WVU’s Academic Media Day in which the work of the Mountaineer community is displayed in greater detail. While past gatherings have focused on the opioid epidemic, infrastructure and climate change, Monday’s session tackled the issue of economic improvement.

During the past few years, there has been much discussion on the need to diversify the state’s economy in view of the peaks and valleys of the energy industry. However, that diversification can come from one of the most iconic resources of the state: Coal, more specifically the leftovers from coal mining operations.

Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute, said much has been accomplished when it comes to treating acid mine drainage to make local water systems safe for swimming and fishing.

“What we’re always trying to do is pay for acid mine drainage,” he said, adding that the potential now exists to do this and develop new businesses at the same time.

The full article can be read here.