Coal Tattoo

Citizen groups challenge two new mining permits

Breaking news this evening in a press release from the Sierra Club:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to account for the negative health impacts on people living near new mines in eastern Kentucky and West Virginia according to two separate lawsuits filed today by the Sierra Club and Kentuckians For The Commonwealth in Kentucky and the Sierra Club, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy and Coal River Mountain Watch in West Virginia.

The groups acted to block two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits – one that allows Leeco, Inc. to destroy more than 3 miles of streams and construct one enormous valley fill at the Stacy Branch mine along the Perry and Knott County border in eastern Kentucky and a second that allows Raven Crest Contracting to destroy nearly 3 miles of streams at the Boone #5 mine in Boone County, West Virginia.

The permits, a requirement under the Clean Water Act to begin mountaintop removal mining, were issued by the Corps on July 26th for Leeco and August 30th for Raven Crest. The organizations contend that the Corps was wrong in issuing the permits because it failed to consider the health impacts on people living near the mines.