Paul Ziemkiewicz featured on WVPB broadcast concerning raw sewage crisis in southern W.Va.

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January 16, 2015

Morgantown, W.Va. –  Dr. Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute, calls raw sewage in southern West Virginia a public health crisis.  Sixty-seven percent of homes in McDowell County do not have sewage treatment, which means sewage is contaminating drinking water sources.

Paul Ziemkiewicz, WV Water Research Institute director. (Photo by Raymond Thompson.)

Paul Ziemkiewicz, WV Water Research Institute director. (Photo by Raymond Thompson.)

Ziemkiewicz was recently featured in a story by West Virginia Public Broadcasting about this issue entitled, “Is There Something in the Water, Southern W.Va.?” See story.

He can be reached for comment at West Virginia University, 304-293-6958.

As director of the WVWRI, Ziemkiewicz manages a staff of 16 and works with the WVU faculty and other universities to manage programs that range from local, regional, national, to international in scope. Major programs include mine drainage, watershed management, biofuels, industrial site restoration and treatment of drilling brines.

Ziemkiewicz’s responsibilities focus on addressing high priority environmental issues by developing research opportunities, assembling and managing research teams and responding to the needs of sponsors. In addition to his research roles, Ziemkiewicz serves on both state and federal policy advisory committees focusing on energy and water. Ziemkiewicz is a member of the West Virginia Acid Mine Drainage Task Force, the Eastern Mine Drainage Federal Consortium, the West Virginia Special Reclamation Trust Fund Advisory Council and the Ohio River Basin Water Availability and Management Work Group.

Ziemkiewicz received the E.M. Watkin Award in 1985 for Outstanding Contribution to the Betterment of Land Reclamation in Canada, presented by the Canadian Reclamation Association. In 2005 he received the Environmental Conservation Distinguished Service Award, presented by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration.

He holds a Bachelor’s in Biology and a Master’s in Range Ecology from Utah State University, and Doctorate in Forest Ecology from the University of British Columbia.


CONTACT: Paul Ziemkiewicz; West Virginia Water Research Institute 304.293.6958;

See also:  WVPB

The West Virginia Water Research Institute is a program of the WVU National Research Center for Coal and Energy.