Eventually, Stollings testified that the Hobet permit was not a mountaintop removal mine.
"This permit is not a clear, distinct, mountaintop removal mine," he said. A minute later, however, Stollings agreed with McGinley that the mine fit the legal definition of a mountaintop removal mine.
Also Wednesday, Arch Coal Samples Mine general manager Peter Lawson showed Haden a 45-minute company promotional slide show meant to describe mountaintop removal mining techniques.
Lawson presented slides that touted Arch Coal's 2,500 employees and $450 million investment in West Virginia. He showed other graphics he said showed why coal companies need to fill in streams with mine waste.
Under cross examination, Lawson testified that the Samples Mine received an approximate original contour variance on a permit that proposed a post-mining land use of fish and wildlife habitat, which is not allowed under federal law.
Lawson said the flattened area was needed so Arch Coal could relocate a high-voltage power line at the Samples Mine.
McGinley asked, "How is fish and wildlife habitat advanced by the high-voltage power line?"
Lawson replied, "It was not intended to enhance the area for wildlife habitat, it was to relocate the power line for future mining."
The hearing will continue this morning. Haden said he hopes to conclude testimony by Friday afternoon.