After holding up the project in September, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved a massive new mountaintop coal-mining operation in West Virginia and indicated it may support similar projects in the future.
Finding that the proposed mine "now meets the requirements of the Clean Water Act," the EPA cleared the Army Corps of Engineers to issue a final permit for the Hobet 45 mountaintop coal mining operation in Lincoln County, Virginia.
Hobet 45 had been one of the 79 mountaintop coal mining operations held up by the EPA last September for additional environmental review. In just four months, that environmental review seems to have been completed to the satisfaction of EPA administrator Lisa Jackson who assured that the mine would "not degrade the quality of water used by communities."
Referred to by environmental advocates as "strip mining on steroids," mountaintop mining involves blasting off the tops of mountains and clear-cutting any forests in order to expose ore deposits.
Working Together: Calling the state-federal environmental cooperation on the Hobet 45 to be "the future of energy and the right future for coal," Jackson stated, "The Hobet 45 mine permanently protects streams, maximizes coal recovery and reduces costs."
Oh and by the way, the Hobet 45 mine will also employ some 460 United Mine Workers of America coal miners, according to the EPA.