Updated: WVDEP coordinating with state and local agencies to investigate dust issue in the Eastern Panhandle


​​UPDATE - Monday, February 27, 2023: The WVDEP has received final results from the dust samples collected in the Eastern Panhandle Friday, which indicate the material is predominantly pollen, with trace amounts of mineral matter. 

The samples were analyzed by West Virginia University's Department of Geology and Geography, as well as the WVU Shared Research Facility.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) is working with state and local agencies to investigate large amounts of dust across multiple counties in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle.

The WVDEP received reports late Thursday night about the dust and mobilized inspectors to the area to collect samples and identify potential sources. No obvious sources have been identified at this time.

No shelter in place advisories have been issued for this area.

"We have staff on site who are coordinating with our state and local partners to identify the material and any potential causes," said WVDEP Division of Air Quality Director Laura Crowder. 

The WVDEP is working with the Berkeley County Office of Emergency Services and the state Department of Agriculture to collect additional samples and have them analyzed.

Samples will also be taken to the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey in Morgantown to determine if the cause of the dust is related to recent dust storms in the Midwest.

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture, West Virginia Division of Emergency Management Division (WVEMD) and the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office are also investigating the situation.

For more WVDEP news and information, go to https://dep.wv.gov. Also, connect with the agency on all social media platforms. Follow @DEPWV on Twitter, Like us on Facebook at https://facebook.com/depwv/, and find us on YouTube at Environment Matters​.


Terry Fletcher
304-926-0499 ext. 49720