Environment

A look at the natural world around us.

Bats and Halloween go wing in hand. They're shrouded in myth and lore and are the stuff of creepy tales and film. However, they are a very important part of our biodiversity and are being decimated by disease. Not a good thing.

Mark Ford is an Associate Professor and Unit Leader of the Cooperative Research Unit of the Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Virginia Tech.  He says we have nine to 12 species of bats that can be found in Virginia:

AP Photo/Ralph Wilson

Opponents to natural gas pipelines in Virginia are calling on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to do a comprehensive review of all four of the proposed projects. 

Thirty organizations in Virginia are calling on FERC to take a bird’s eye view of the natural gas infrastructure to determine if 4 new pipelines, currently in the planning stages, are really necessary. The pipelines would bring fracked natural gas from West Virginia through Virginia into North Carolina. Opponents say they are a threat to the region’s water, scenic beauty and public safety.

15 Years to Build: A Lifetime to Maintain

Oct 23, 2015

The companies planning to build the Mountain Valley Pipeline today filed a formal request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. If approved, it would wind through Virginia over private and public lands. One scenario has it crossing the Appalachian Trail in Giles County … and that has conservationists concerned. 

Robbie Harris went for a hike with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Laura Belleville to get a look at where the pipeline might cross it.

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Environmental projects in Virginia are getting a big boon. The state is receiving nearly $8 million in funding to help clean the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

In addition to matching support from private companies, the funds come largely from the federal government.

“Restoring the bay is imminently doable, we just need to ramp up our efforts and we need to think creatively and we need to think innovatively," says Jeff Corbin with the EPA.

The decline of the coal industry is poised to have a big impact for decades to come. In regions where it once dominated local economies, for many, things will never be quite the same.  But with great change also comes opportunity. 

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