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

Lack of surprise inspections helped lab cover up violations, prosecutor says

A coal industry laboratory in Raleigh County was able to cover up criminal water sampling violations because lab officials knew when Department of Environmental Protection inspectors planned to visit their operation, according to...

DEP to require new mine water samples because of lab controversy

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said Friday that it will require new water quality data before it approves new permits for mining operators that used Appalachian Laboratories for sampling and analysis included in pending...

West Virginia could meet EPA plant standards, report says

West Virginia could meet proposed federal standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with a smart mix of energy efficiency programs, ramped up solar- and wind-power generation and moderate improvements at existing coal-fired power plants, according...

DEP revokes water lab’s certification after guilty plea

West Virginia regulators have revoked the state certification for a Raleigh County laboratory, following the guilty plea of a lab supervisor who admitted he and other employees...

Lab tech: Coal companies wanted water samples faked

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Employees of a Raleigh County laboratory falsified water quality samples under pressure from their coal company clients, a laboratory technician and supervisor who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act...

Study links mountaintop removal dust to cancer

A new West Virginia University study has found that dust from mountaintop removal coal-mining operations promotes the growth of lung cancer tumors.

The study results “provide new evidence for the carcinogenic potential” of...

Lab official admits faking coal water quality reports

A Raleigh County man pleaded guilty Thursday to repeatedly faking compliant water quality standards for coal companies, in a case that raises questions about the self-reporting system state and federal regulators use as a central tool to judge if the...

EPA wins another round on Spruce Mine veto

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday won another major legal victory in the long saga of one of the largest mountaintop removal mining permits in West Virginia history.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson concluded that the...

DEP facing lawsuit over access to mining pollution data

The state Department of Environmental Protection is facing a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit over its refusal to provide a public interest law firm with a slice of agency data that shows recent water pollution levels at coal-mining operations...

Judge rules corps can ignore mining health studies

A federal judge in Charleston ruled this week that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers does not have to consider scientific studies linking mountaintop removal to public health problems when the agency approves new Clean Water Act permits for mining...

Win over EPA won’t save Southern W.Va. coal, experts say

This week, West Virginia leaders were painting a picture of the rosy future that could await the coal industry, were it not for the Obama administration. Sprinkled among comments criticizing proposed reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the...

As public hearings begin, EPA again defends greenhouse proposal

As the agency begins a week-long series of public hearings in four cities, the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency insisted again on Monday that the coal industry would survive an Obama administration proposal to curb greenhouse gas...