Here’s a statement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in response to the West Virginia DEP’s new mining water pollution guidance:
Earlier this year, at the request of members of Congress, mining companies, states and concerned citizens, EPA issued guidance to clarify the application of the Clean Water Act to mountaintop mining permits. That guidance, supported by extensive science and consistent with the law, has already protected local waters and the coalfield communities that use them.
We look forward to reviewing West Virginia’s new water quality guidance. In the meantime, EPA’s guidance stands and we will continue to use it to ensure that mining permits issued in West Virginia and other Appalachian states provide the protection required under federal law.
Our Gazette news story on the WVDEP policy is here.