Marcum added that, "We're concerned that the involvement of different agencies in the process needs to be well coordinated to avoid more needless delays. Such delays not only cause unnecessary expense, but also threaten the jobs of our workers."
An earlier OSM report on a permit for Vandalia Resources Inc. found problems similar to those in the Road Fork permit application.
DEP issued that permit. OSM did nothing to make the state fix the problems identified in the federal report. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also approved the Vandalia mine. EPA Region III Administration Michael McCabe issued a news release praising it.
John Ailes, chief of the DEP Office of Mining and Reclamation, said his staff is reviewing the OSM report on Road Fork Development.
"We're looking at the OSM report," Ailes said. "The logical conclusion is that we will deal with any of the issues that they raised."
Roger Calhoun, director of the Charleston OSM field office, said, "We're going to work with the state to make corrections. I think we're honestly working with the state before they get too far along with an issued permit."
Cindy Rank, mining chairwoman of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, praised the OSM staff who reviewed the Vandalia and Road Fork permit applications.
"I think it's wonderful that they're putting this information down on paper to show how idiotic this process is," Rank said Friday. "The reports are confirming our assertions that just about every part of the permitting process is flawed, if not terrible."