WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Office of Surface Mining announced Monday evening it will examine five aspects of West Virginia’s regulation of surface mining.
The decision announced in a news release follows a petition filed earlier this year by nearly 20 advocacy groups which said the state Department of Environmental Protection isn’t doing its job and is ignoring federal law.
The federal agency said it will look at five of the groups’ complaints including flooding impacts, alleged violations of the Clean Water Act, water pollution from selenium and the handling of soil.
“The analysis we shared with the petitioners today represents the next step in a process
prescribed by the regulations that implement SMCRA,” said OSM Director Joe Pizarchik in the news release. “OSM will conduct its evaluations in a fair, transparent manner.”
The environmental, civic and religious groups originally asked that 19 areas be looked at and it requested OSM seize control of the DEP program.