The Environmental Protection Agency has issued letters to the Army Corps of Engineers recommending denial of permits for two mountaintop removal mines in Pike County, Kentucky and Logan County, West Virginia and calling for further mitigation plans and environmental review.  The letter for the West Virginia application emphasizes that the EPA has “the authority to prohibit the issuance of a permit to fill waters of the United States if it is determined that such a discharge will have an unacceptable adverse effect on municipal water supplies, shellfish beds and fishery areas (including spawning and breeding areas), wildlife, or recreational areas.”  The Kentucky letter calls for permanent conservation easements or deed restrictions “to cover all waterways in avoided valleys within the permit boundaries as well as all restoration stream reaches to prevent future impacts from coal mining.”

The EPA will be reviewing more mining permit requests.

See the press release and the letters for more information:

Logan County, West Virginia

Pike County, Kentucky