"Obama EPA Approves Another Mountaintop Removal Mine"

"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Obama administration late last week quietly approved one of six major mountaintop removal permits that were said to be undergoing close scrutiny by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Without announcing the move publicly, EPA gave the nod for the federal Army Corps of Engineers to issue a Clean Water Act permit for CONSOL Energy Inc.'s Peg Fork Surface Mine near Chattaroy in Mingo County.

EPA approved all eight valley fill waste piles originally proposed by CONSOL, provided that additional water testing is done before six of those fills are constructed, agency officials said.

Corps officials in Huntington approved the permit on Friday. Copies of key permit documents were not yet being made public, despite a promise from the Obama White House of increased transparency in the permit review process."

Ken Ward Jr. reports for the Charleston Gazette August 13, 2009.

Thursday, August 13, 2009