Ziemkiewicz one of several WVU experts who can address issues raised by Fayette County train derailment

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February 16, 2015 by April Kaull, University Relations/News

Morgantown, W.Va. – Several West Virginia University faculty members are available to provide commentary and analysis of the issues raised by a train derailment Monday (Feb. 16) in Fayette County that resulted in evacuations of nearby communities and the closure of the Montgomery and Cedar Grove water intakes along the Kanawha River.

They include:

Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute, was involved in deciphering the chemicals involved in the Charleston spill for the media and eventually testified before the legislature’s Joint Commission on Water and Natural Resources in the West Virginia legislature. He can be reached at Paul.Ziemkiewicz@mail.wvu.edu or by phone at 304-282-5093.

Jennifer Weidhaas, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, has led WVU’s research on samples taken from the water system in Charleston after a January 2014 chemical leak. Her research showed how the chemical moved through the system and how effective the remediation efforts were. She can be reached at Jennifer.Weidhaas@mail.wvu.edu.

Todd Petty is a professor of forestry and natural resources at WVU who studies river ecology and is knowledgeable about chemical pollution and its effects on river ecosystems and fisheries. He can be reached at Todd.Petty@mail.wvu.edu and 304-376-2933.

Emily Corio, a teaching assistant professor in the Reed College of Media, with extensive experience related to the challenges of reporting on a health and safety story of this magnitude. She can be reached at 304-692-2543 or via email at Emily.Corio@mail.wvu.edu.

Joshua Fershee is a law professor who specializes in energy business law and regulation enforcement. He can be reached at 917-921-7148 or Joshua.Fershee@mail.wvu.edu.

Elizabeth Scharman is director of the West Virginia Poison Center. In the months following the resolution of the spill she participated in meetings to review the response and evaluate disaster plans. She can be reached at escharman@hsc.wvu.edu, 304-347-1212 (office) or 304-610-0519 (mobile).

Patrick McGinley is a law professor who specializes in environmental justice, environmental impacts and regulation. He can be reached at 304-552-2631 or Patrick.McGinley@mail.wvu.edu.

Jesse Richardson is associate professor of law and lead land use attorney at WVU where he focuses on land use and water law. He can be reached at Jesse.Richardson@mail.wvu.edu.

Robert Duval teaches environmental politics and policy at WVU and is currently the interim chair for the Department of Health Policy, Management and Leadership at the School of Public Health. He has also served as an environmental policy analyst/economist for the state of Florida. He can be reached at rduval2@hsc.wvu.edu and 304-581-1826.

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CONTACT: University Relations/News; 304.293.6997

See also:  WVUToday