Residents of Boone and Logan counties will get another chance to speak their minds about two huge mountaintop removal mines proposed for their communities.
Federal regulators have decided to host a joint public hearing on permits for the mine permits requested by Arch Coal Inc. and A.T. Massey Coal Co., records show.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scheduled the hearing after receiving five requests from individual citizens and one from an environmental group.
In an Aug. 31 letter to the state Division of Environmental Protection, EPA Region III water protection Director Tom Maslany agreed to hold the hearing.
Maslany cited the citizens' "serious concerns about impacts related to valley fills" proposed as part of the mountaintop removal operations.
Dan Sweeney, an EPA environmental engineer at the regional office in Philadelphia, said the hearing would probably be held sometime in mid-October.
The hearing will focus on two massive mountaintop removal operations:
The state DEP proposed to issue permits for both mines, but the permits have been stalled because of EPA objections.