Six new strip mining permits were issued last month by the state Division of Environmental Protection, DEP Director Michael Miano announced Wednesday.Miano submitted the first monthly mining report to U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd and Rep. Nick J. Rahall, both D-W.Va. Byrd and Rahall asked for the reports after hearing complaints that permitting takes too long.The report deals with mining operations that will bury streams with at least one valley fill waste pile.Through May 3, permits issued by DEP were:
MEPCO Resources Inc. for a 164-acre mine in Monongalia County. The operation proposed a fill in a 195-acre watershed.Vandalia Resources Inc. for a 336-acre permit in Clay County. The operation proposed two fills, the largest of which would be in a drainage area of 295 acres.Triple B Leasing Corp. for a 383-acre mine in Raleigh County. The operation proposed four fills, the largest of which would be in a drainage area of 78 acres.Marrowbone Development Corp. in Mingo County. It proposed two valley fills, the largest of which would be in a drainage area of 152 acres.Evergreen Mining Co. in Webster County. The operation, a revision to an existing permit, proposed one fill in a watershed area of 120 acres.Work on these five permits can start immediately.They have also been approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.DEP also issued a permit for Patriot Mining in Monongalia County. It proposed to fill in a drainage area of 65 acres. This project still needs approval from the Corps.Miano said, "We want to assure the citizens of West Virginia that environmentally sound permits will be issued in a timely manner."This is a complicated process and DEP is committed to working with the other involved federal agencies to expedite the permit process," Miano said. To contact staff writer Ken Ward Jr., call 348-1702.