"There will not be a pollution problem," Clarke said. "The potential for taking water from wells is very low."
ICG lawyer Bob McLusky agreed.
"We think it's an exemplary permit and DEP did a fine job," McLusky said.
In permit documents, ICG argued "any disturbance" of water supplies "is likely to be minimal and temporary." DEP officials agreed.
Clarke and McLusky also argued that subsidence of the sort the mine would cause is perfectly legal under federal and state law.
Lovett responded that subsidence of land might be legal, but that damage to homes and other buildings is not.
Lovett also argued that the coal seam ICG wants to mine, the Lower Kittanning, is known to cause acid pollution. He produced documents about one mine where the DEP predicted such pollution and about another mine where the company is still paying $1 million to treat acid drainage.
"The potential for perpetual treatment of the water is still there," Sen. Jon Blair Hunter, D-Monongalia, whose district includes Taylor County, told the board Tuesday morning.
Chuck Norris, a hydro-geologist working for Lovett, told mine board members that the DEP is wrong in concluding the mine will not cause water pollution or dewater streams and springs.
Norris said that during mining, the longwall subsidence would likely re-channel the flow of area groundwater and surface water.
Once mining stops Norris said, the mined-out area would likely fill with that water. At the same time, the water - now laden with toxic iron - will begin to seep out into what's left of the area's streams.
"It's going to be oozing out from all over this mine and is not going to be capable of being treated," Norris testified.