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

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-...

Alpha agrees to curb mine conductivity pollution

Alpha Natural Resources has reached an agreement with citizen groups through which the company will clean up conductivity pollution that is harming aquatic life in streams near two of its strip-mining complexes, according to documents filed in federal ...

Groups plan lawsuit over Hobet pollution

Environmental groups said Thursday that they are planning a major lawsuit over water pollution from Patriot Coal’s huge Hobet 21 mountaintop removal mining complex along the Boone-Lincoln County line in Southern West Virginia.

The Ohio...

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...