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Release Date: 01/07/2010
Contact Information: Enesta Jones,, 202-564-7873, 202-564-4355

“Today’s announcement from West Virginia’s state government is a critical acknowledgement of the substantial environmental, water and health impacts that result from mountaintop mining operations. EPA’s responsibility under the Clean Water Act is to ensure that mining activities do not degrade the quality of water used by communities, and we intend to ensure this requirement is met.

“The most effective path forward now is to work together to develop mining policies that protect the environment, ensure public health, and are cost effective. The approval earlier this week of the Hobet 45 permit in West Virginia is an example of what can be achieved when mining operators work with EPA to develop their plans. The Hobet 45 mine permanently protects streams, maximizes coal recovery and reduces costs.

“Today’s announcement from West Virginia puts us on a path towards closer coordination and dialogue among key stakeholders, from federal and state authorities to industry to environmentalists. EPA is committed to working with all parties to ensure that our country’s energy, including coal based generation, is produced in a safe, healthier, and sustainable manner. That is the future of energy and the right future for coal. EPA will continue to rely on the best available science to evaluate mining projects and we strongly encourage West Virginia officials to work in conjunction, not apart, from EPA to develop future mining policy proposals that seek to protect water quality.”