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Bill Hoffman (215) 814 -2995
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, three other federal agencies and the West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection will hold a public meeting on December 14 to discuss possible government actions to reduce environmental impacts of mountaintop mining and valley fills in the Appalachian coalfields. The meeting will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. at Coonskin Park near Charleston.
The EPA and sister agencies are seeking public comment on ideas for potential government actions which will be studied in an environmental impact statement on policies for regulating mountaintop mining and valley fills. Four federal agencies -- EPA, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Office of Surface Mining, and the Fish and Wildlife Service -- and the West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection are studying the environmental impacts of mountaintop mining. Agencies in Kentucky and Virginia are also providing information for the study.
Public comment will help the agencies select for further analysis the most valuable ideas. Potential government actions under review would address mountaintop mining and valley fill issues such as stream loss, groundwater impacts, reclamation practices, mitigation projects, watershed protection, fill stability, social ands economic benefits, blasting and dust, flooding potential, landscapes, forests, plants and wildlife.
The draft study is scheduled for release for further public comment next summer, and a final environmental impact statement is expected to be completed in January 2001.
On December 7, EPA released a document containing the list of potential government actions. The document can be found on EPA’s website, at http://www.epa.gov/region3/mtntop. In addition to comments at the public meeting, the agencies will accept written comments until Jan. 3, 2000. For further information or to send comments, contact:
U.S. Environmental Ptrotection Agency (3ES30)
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103
fax (215) 814-2783