Public Comment Period Open:
Oppose Weakened Surface Mine Reclamation Rule
The WVDEP is soliciting comments through July 18 on proposed changes to the Surface Mining Reclamation Rule that attempts to weaken compliance with water quality standards and reclamation requirements for coal companies. See our summary sheet here.
The proposed rule opens the door to further large-scale degradation of stream life. It appears to attempt to get coal companies off the hook by removing the requirement that mining discharges not cause violations of water quality standards. Allowing these violations to go unaddressed would be a clear violation of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act and the Clean Water Act.
The proposed rule endangers restoration of streams damaged by surface mining. It removes the definition of “completion of reclamation,” which currently provides that reclamation is complete only when water quality standards are met. It also deletes the requirement that there be no violations prior to bond release.
WVDEP is holding a public hearing on the rule on July 18 at 6pm at their Charleston headquarters, 601 57th Street S.E., Charleston, WV 25304. Come and be heard!
Can’t attend the hearing? You can submit written comments on proposed changes through July 18. We’ve made it easy to submit your comments, just click here to write your letter today!