Help us stop a 2,000-acre mountaintop removal mine before it starts
Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
We have a chance to defeat a 2,000-acre mountaintop removal permit owned by Alpha Natural Resources. The permit was first issued in 2008 but no mining activity has occurred. Federal law states that a permit “shall terminate” if mining has not begun within three years of the permit being issued.
Coal River Mountain Watch requested that the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) terminate the Eagle 2 permit, prompting the department to instead retroactively grant Alpha an extension, in clear violation of the law. The federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) affirmed the DEP’s action.
Fortunately, a federal judge vacated OSMRE’s decision and compelled the agency to reconsider terminating the permit in light of evidence spelled out in a lawsuit brought by Coal River Mountain Watch. As part of this process, OSMRE has asked the DEP for supplemental information.
Now under a new administration, the DEP can correct the mistake of its predecessors and terminate the Eagle 2 permit. Please contact DEP Secretary Austin Caperton and urge him to correct this mistake, and to uphold his agency’s mission to promote a healthy environment.