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Army Corps of Engineers working to address mountaintop removal coal mining concerns


united_states_army_corps_of_engineers_logoThe U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is undertaking a process designed to limit the use of Nationwide Permit 21 to authorize surface coal mining and the discharge of the resulting dredged or fill material into waters of the United States in the Appalachian region of the following states: Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia until it expires on March 18, 2012. The Corps goal is to enhance environmental protection of aquatic resources by requiring surface coal mining projects in the affected region to obtain individual permit coverage under the Clean Water Act (CWA), which includes increased public and agency involvement in the permit review process, including an opportunity for public comment on individual projects.

Hobet Mine comparison (before) Hobet Mine comparison (after)
Landsat satellite data collected in 1987 and 2002 show (click to zoom) the growth of the Hobet-21 mountaintop mine in the Mud River watershed of West Virginia. The mine expanded across thousands of acres and produced one of the state’s longest valley fills when rock and dirt were placed into Connelly Branch. The center portion of the mine site had been partially reclaimed with grass (light green) as of 2002. [NASA images by Jesse Allen, based on data provided by the Global Land Cover Facility (GLCF).]

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