"Permit Hearing Puts Focus on EPA Mining Crackdown"

"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Environmentalists and state regulators faced off Tuesday in the start of a major permit appeal hearing that puts the spotlight squarely on West Virginia's opposition to a federal crackdown aimed at reducing strip-mine pollution across the Appalachian coalfields.

Department of Environmental Protection officials sought an 11th-hour ruling Monday night to block any mention in the hearing of tougher new water quality guidelines issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year.

State Environmental Quality Board members turned down that request, and citizen group lawyers told the board the case is all about DEP's rejection of the EPA guidelines and a growing body of science they are based upon."

Ken Ward Jr. reports for the Charleston Gazette December 14, 2010.

SEE ALSO:

"Groups Want Stiffer Penalties for Coal Companies Accused of Water Quality Violations" (Louisville Courier-Journal)

Source: Charleston Gazette, 12/15/2010