The courts, the EPA, and even the Army Corps of Engineers and the Virginia Department of Mines Minerals and Energy giveth hope to those who would preserve what's left of the south-central Appalacian Mountains. The coal companies would taketh away that hope and the mountains.
Ison Rock Ridge Mountain in Wise County, Virginia shelters the mountain communities of Derby, Arno, Inman, Andover and Appalachia, providing freshwater to over 1,800 people there and many more who live downsteam.
Almost 6 years ago, on May 7, 2009, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers suspended its approval of A and G Coal Corp.’s 1,200 acre Surface Mine 0.8 miles west of Andover. The Sierra Club and Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards had sued to block the permit and the Corps stated that the suspension would give officials "an opportunity to fully evaluate concerns" raised by EPA April 3, 2009.
When I checked my email today, I learned that the Virginia Department of Mines Minerals and Energy is holding a hearing in room 219 of its Big Stone Gap office on February 18, 2015 at 9:00 AM. The office is in the Buchanan-Smith Building at 3405 Mountain Empire Road off Route 23. The permit number is 1003841 and the Code of Virginia sections are §§45.1-240, 45.1-250(B), and 2.2-4020 as amended. See also §4VAC25-130-775.11(b) of the Virginia Coal
surface Mining Reclamation Regulations.
As before the contact is Harve A Mooney, firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call him at 276-523-8271 or fax 276-523-8163.
Want to keep up on this and other Virginia government hearings. Go to https://www.townhall.virginia.gov/.