Environmental Groups Urge Federal Government to Protect West Virginia’s Waterways and Environment from Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining
August 15, 2009
On August 10, 2009, the Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment submitted a petition to the federal Office of Surface Mining (OSM) on behalf of Sierra Club, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, and Coal River Mountain Watch, urging OSM to take over enforcement of surface mining laws in West Virginia.
Specifically, the petition highlights the state Department of Environmental Protection’s failure to enforce the stream buffer zone rule under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. This environmental rule was enacted in 1983 to prevent companies from conducting mountaintop removal coal mining activities or dumping mining waste within 100 feet of flowing streams. The West Virginia DEP has completely failed to administer this program; the DEP has repeatedly issued mining permits that allow companies to fill and bury West Virginia’s waterways.
The coalition of environmental groups are calling on OSM to step in and properly enforce the stream buffer zone rule in order to protect West Virginia’s streams and natural areas from the devastating impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining.
Details and Documents:
Coalfield Uprising Grows: Will Feds Take Down WVA's Embarrassing DEP?
August 11, 2009 by Jeff Biggers, The Huffington Post
Buffer zone update: Enviros seek OSM takeover of WVDEP
August 10, 2009 by ken Ward Jr., The Charleston Gazette
See other "Stopping Mountaintop Removal and Other Destructive Mining" cases.