Mountaintop Mining Addendum
It’s worth noting: Despite the new EPA scrutiny (and potential repeal) of the Bush-era permit approving the largest mountaintop coal mine in West Virginia’s history, a part of that project will continue its operations during the public comment and review process.
The Spruce No. 1 Mine — a 2,300-acre behemoth in southern West Virginia — was approved by the Army Corps of Engineers in 2007. But environmentalists quickly filed suit to block the project, which would fill six Appalachian valleys with 110 cubic yards of mining waste, burying seven miles of headwater streams in the process.
Under an agreement with the environmentalist plaintiffs, mining in one section of Spruce No. 1 was allowed to proceed despite the suit. That section — in the Seng Camp Creek drainage area — involves filling one valley.
EPA’s decision today doesn’t affect that agreement or block current mining around Seng Camp Creek, an agency spokesperson said today.
EPA will publish its proposed restrictions in the Federal Register April 2. The public will then have 60 days to comment on the changes.