Following the brouhaha after announcing they would “scrutinize” three massive coal surface mine permits in WV, the EPA is having its second closed meeting with the WV DEP and coal industry officials in Charleston, WV on April 15th & today, April 16th. The EPA states in regards to the meetings:
“EPA continues to review applications for new surface coal mining permits that will impact streams, rivers, wetlands and other waters in Appalachian states. The Agency appreciates the opportunity to work closely with West Virginia and mine operators to assess opportunities to improve the environmental review of proposed coal mines in Appalachia.”
Citizen and activist groups had also requested to meet with EPA officials as part of this process although I don’t see them listed as participants.
The mainstream press coverage continues to posit the conflict as “environment vs. economy.” It would be great to see some in depth coverage of contemporary economic development in the WV questioning the lack of miner re-training, lack of movement toward sustainable green jobs, and lack of diversification beyond coal. The continued myopic narrative is frustrating with the on-going extreme poverty and massive daily destruction of future natural resources.
WV Public Broadcasting coverage of the meetings: