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Mining the Mountains  »  News  »  Special Reports  »  Mining the Mountains

Court says records about WVU mining health research protected

West Virginia does not have an “academic freedom” exemption to its public records law, but certain documents about a former university researcher’s examination of mountaintop removal mining’s impacts on public health are...

Patriot Coal files Chapter 11 — again

Patriot Coal on Tuesday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, saying the company is trying to come up with another reorganization plan less than two years after emerging from a previous court-supervised financial makeover.

Lawyers for...

Amid industry downturn, OSM worries about WV’s coal cleanup liabilities

Federal coal-mine regulators are increasingly concerned about growing pollution cleanup liabilities across West Virginia’s coalfields, given the “precarious financial situation that many of the state’s coal companies find...

Groups settle pollution suit with landowner, file new mining complaint

Citizen groups have reached a settlement that they say will force Pocahontas Land Corp. to take responsibility for continuing water pollution at a former mountaintop removal coal-mining site.

At the same time, environmental organizations said...

Future of coal, climate and communities debated at hearing

A power company president and a United Mine Workers lawyer warned Monday that federal proposals to curb climate change could ruin West Virginia’s coal industry, while an energy expert and a scientist described the Obama administration’s...

2 more Freedom Industries officials plead guilty over Elk River leak

Two more former officials from bankrupt Freedom Industries pleaded guilty Wednesday to pollution charges related to the January 2014 chemical leak that contaminated drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people in the Kanawha Valley and...

State announces review of studies linking mountaintop removal mining to illness

The Tomblin administration said Tuesday that it would initiate an evaluation of the growing body of studies that have found residents living near mountaintop removal coal-mining operations face increases risks of serious illnesses and premature death....

Alpha presses court for records about WVU mining health research

Alpha Natural Resources is pressing the state Supreme Court to force West Virginia University to provide thousands of documents about the research of a former WVU professor who has published a long list of papers that link mountaintop removal coal...

Labor, environmental groups join forces to oppose coal industry-backed bill

Representatives of working coal miners and from the state’s environmental community turned out Thursday to oppose a legislative initiative from the West Virginia Coal Association, saying the bill wrongly weakens protection...

Governor’s speech leaves out water, touts coal and urges more drilling

The Freedom Industries chemical spill and the resulting water crisis a year ago didn’t make Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s State of the State address Wednesday night, but the governor did highlight his continued opposition to federal greenhouse ...

Audit: EPA pressure improved pollution permits

Increased scrutiny by the Obama administration has led to better state Department of Environmental Protection reviews of water pollution permit applications from West Virginia’s coal-mining industry, according to a new state legislative audit...

Lawmakers reject proposal ‘gutting’ water protections

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia lawmakers on Monday rejected a proposal to eliminate the current policy that aims to protect all rivers and streams statewide as potential drinking water sources.

Members of the Joint Legislative Rule-...