"Virginia State Water Control Board Loses Authority Over Coal Mines"

"RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia is about to limit state regulators' ability to protect public health and the environment from toxic discharges entering state waters from surface coal mines.

The Virginia Senate today passed legislation (SB 1025) that limits the ability of state regulators to use water quality testing to make permitting and enforcement decisions involving polluted discharges from coal strip mines under the Clean Water Act.

An identical bill (HB 2123) passed in the House of Delegates last month, and Governor Bob McDonnell is expected to sign the legislation into law.

Strip mining, including mountaintop removal mining, is more widespread in Southwest Virginia's Wise County than all but one other county in Appalachia."

Environment News Service had the story February 8, 2011.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011