WV DEP Won't Expand Slurry Injection Moratorium

"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Environmental Protection Secretary Randy Huffman said Wednesday his agency is continuing to allow coal slurry to be injected underground at 13 locations in West Virginia, despite being unable to tell lawmakers if the process is safe.

Huffman said the state Department of Environmental Protection has no plans to expand a moratorium on new slurry injection permits to the sites that already have DEP permits.

Coal slurry injection has drawn citizen complaints and lawsuits over drinking water pollution, especially from residents in the Rawl area of Mingo County and the Prenter community in Boone County.

Speaking during a legislative interim meeting, Huffman acknowledged a lack of tough regulation of slurry injection and conceded that a study mandated by lawmakers did not get to the bottom of the issue."

Ken Ward Jr. reports for the Charleston Gazette June 17, 2009.

Source: Charleston Gazette, 06/18/2009