Feds Fault WV Oversight of Mining Flood Prevention

"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia regulators and coal operators have not properly implemented state rules meant to keep strip mining from contributing to flooding during heavy rains over narrow mountain hollows, according to a new federal report.

Mine operators have inconsistently applied computer modeling in permit applications, and state regulators have approved those applications anyway, according to the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement report.

In addition, the state Department of Environmental Protection does not do follow-up studies to see if permit models were accurate, and DEP regulations require no long-term pre- and post-mining runoff monitoring, OSM said in its report."

Ken Ward Jr. reports for the Charleston Gazette July 2, 2009.

Friday, July 3, 2009