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Mining the Mountains  »  News  »  Special Reports  »  Mining the Mountains

Va. group proposes to buy, clean up Patriot Coal sites

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Virginia conservation organization is proposing to buy and clean up bankrupt Patriot Coal’s most troubled mine sites in an unusual move that involves assuming more than $400 million in land reclamation obligations...

Judge rules against Fola on mining pollution

In a new ruling that found water pollution violations at two West Virginia permits, a federal judge on Wednesday cited what he described as “myriad lines of evidence” that mountaintop removal coal mining damages water quality and aquatic ...

Concerns grow about coal industry pensions, reclamation
Concerns grow about coal industry pensions, reclamation

As the Appalachian coal industry continues a long-predicted decline, serious concerns are mounting among labor unions, citizens groups and regulators that financially troubled producers...

Arch, EPA make deal over ICG pollution

Arch Coal will pay $2 million in fines and take a series of steps to improve water pollution performance at operations in West Virginia and four other states that it acquired in 2011 when it purchased International Coal Group, the U.S. Environmental...

Final EPA plan ‘a much tougher road’ for WV

West Virginia faces a requirement for tougher emissions cuts under a final federal rule aimed at curbing greenhouse gas pollution from the nation’s power plants, according to U....

Obama urges coalfield officials to support climate action

As coal industry officials and their political allies launched furious opposition to a federal effort to fight climate change, President Obama on Monday urged coalfield communities to support the plan, offering to work with local leaders to address...

Alpha Natural Resources hopes to restructure in bankruptcy

Alpha Natural Resources on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in a long-expected step that Alpha officials said they hoped would “enhance the company’s future as it weathers a historically challenged coal market....

As final EPA power-plant rule nears, some call for WV to embrace clean energy
As final EPA power-plant rule nears, some call for WV to embrace clean energy

Sometime this month — perhaps as soon as Monday — the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will announce its final rule to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s electrical power plants.

West Virginia’s...

New EPA draft adds to controversy over W.Va. selenium rule changes

Federal proposal for water pollution limits complicates state enforcement

By Ken Ward Jr.

Staff writer

Federal environmental officials on Monday issued a draft recommendation for new selenium water pollution limits,...

Miners turn out to support DEP water rule changes

Dozens of coal miners packed a state Department of Environmental Protection public hearing to support industry-sought changes to two key West Virginia water quality standards.

The crowd of miners, mostly from Alpha Natural Resources and wearing...

OSM proposal backs off stream ‘buffer zone’

Coal operators would have to conduct expanded monitoring and perform additional environmental restoration, but would be freed from the threat that a 32-year-old ban on mining activities within 100 feet of streams might be used to stop them from...

WV delegation cool to Obama’s coalfield plan

West Virginia’s representatives in Washington don’t sound particularly enthusiastic about the Obama administration’s proposals to funnel nearly $5 billion in...