Judge Finds Alpha Mining ‘Conductivity’ Pollution Damaged Water Quality

"Citing what he said was 'extensive scientific evidence,' a federal judge has ruled for the first time that conductivity pollution from mountaintop removal mining operations is damaging streams in Southern West Virginia.

U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers concluded that mines operated by Alpha Natural Resources in Boone and Nicholas counties have 'caused or materially contributed to a significant adverse impact' to nearby streams, giving citizen groups a major victory that also supports Obama administration efforts to reduce mountaintop removal impacts.

In a 67-page ruling issued Wednesday, Chambers found that mining discharges had not only altered the chemistry of the streams, but also 'unquestionably biologically impaired' them, leaving both the diversity and abundance of aquatic life 'profoundly reduced.'"

Ken Ward Jr. reports for the Charleston Gazette June 5, 2014.

Friday, June 6, 2014