Arch Coal Inc. subsidiary Hobet Mining wants a permit to expand its Dal-Tex operation to mine 3,100 acres near Blair in Logan County. The mine would bury four miles of streams under valley fills and be the largest surface mining permit in West Virginia history.
A.T. Massey Coal Co. subsidiary Independence Coal wants a permit to mine 1,600 acres south of Madison near Uneeda, Boone County. The operation would dump 100 million cubic yards of rock and earth into seven valley fills.
The state Division of Environmental Protection proposed to issue water pollution permits for both mines, but was stalled because of EPA objections.
EPA issued objections to both draft permits, on the ground that the permits would allow the mines to bury streams in violation of the federal Clean Water Act.
Under EPA regulations, the agency can hold a public hearing on any water pollution permit it objects to or if a member of the public or a state agency involved asks for the hearing.
EPA rarely holds such hearings, especially in states that have taken over issuance of federal water pollution permits. This is the only such hearing in West Virginia in recent memory.
Public notices are being published in state newspapers to announced the meeting.
The agency also invited public comments on both permits. They can be sent by Oct. 27 to Dan Sweeney, U.S. EPA, 1650 Arch St. (3WP12), Philadelphia, Pa. 19103, or be faxed to (215) 814-2301.