A look at the natural world around us.

New Study Finds Climate Change Means Risky Business

Jul 28, 2015

It took two years for scientists and economists to crunch the numbers based on 40 different climate models, but they’re out this week with a new report called Risky Business – an analysis of what a warmer planet will mean for Virginia. 

VA's Largest Polluter Scales Back Outdoor Burning

Jul 27, 2015

The Radford Army Ammunitions Plant is one of the few places that still burns waste from the making of explosives, outdoors, in the open air.

For years, activists have been urging the practice be stopped because of threats to human health and the environment.  Now plans are in the works to do that and more.

Matt Wasson, Appalachian Voices/Creative Commons

Burning coal to make electricity isn’t its only impact on the environment. The mining process has also been shown to pollute nearby waterways.

New rules proposed by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement to protect that water, will be debated over the next several months. Some see them as a potential threat to dwindling coal jobs and others, as not strong enough to protect the environment.


The ultimate routes of natural gas pipelines that would run through Virginia have yet to be determined.  Among the concerns that raises, is; what effect could pipeline construction have on people’s well water? 

File Photo

For years the use of hydraulic fracturing—or fracking—has been exclusive to Southwest Virginia, but some organizations and communities are vehemently opposed to it. Now, as companies are exploring more energy sources throughout the state, such as natural gas and shale, officials are feeling more pressure to amend regulations that govern the practice. 

State Water Commission Chair and Delegate Thomas Wright says he's in favor of offshore drilling and whatever the state can do to produce more energy—but he also advocates environmental stewardship.