Make Your Voice Heard—Tell WV DEP We Need These Changes!



The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has FINALLY proposed revisions to the state's water quality standard for SELENIUM.

In response to a mandate from the West Virginia Legislature, WV DEP is proposing to adopt a fish-tissue based selenium standard that more accurately reflects the most current science on selenium concentrations and stream health.

The proposed standard uses the federal government's OWN recommendations and calculations and is virtually identical to a similar standard in Kentucky that has been approved by EPA.

State and federal regulators have long known the current selenium water standard was egregiously FLAWED but coal companies and other industries were required to install MILLIONS of dollars in unnecessary treatment systems to meet a meaningless standard.

The proposed revisions to the selenium standard are the first step by the state to implement a more reasonable set of regulatory measures that level the playing field for coal mines in West Virginia.   In addition to selenium, the agency has also proposed changes to the Aluminum standard, another flawed criteria that requires expensive treatment systems, while doing nothing to protect the environment. Most states have NO aluminum standards at all, so the proposed change still makes West Virginia's standards more stringent than most other coal producing states.

The anti-mining extremists like the Sierra Club will no doubt be at this hearing in full force, spinning fairy tales of environmental woe, alarmism and offering crocodile tears for our communities.

State Legislative Leaders Pledge Strong Support for Coal

The coal industry has a long history of surviving dramatic cycles of good times and bad, but most people familiar with the coal industry recognize the current slump as being one of the most challenging in the history of the West Virginia coalfields.

This was the primary topic of a meeting of the West Virginia Coal Forum held Thursday in Bluefield. The West Virginia Coal Forum is a quasi-governmental agency that the state Legislature established in 1986. It represents the interests of both labor and management relating to the state’s leading industry.

Read more: State Legislative Leaders Pledge Strong Support for Coal

Weekly Coal Production & Price Report: July, 24, 2015

U.S. Coal Production Up Again Week Over Week 

Coal Commodity Region/Fuel

Avg. BTU

SO2

Price

Price/mmBU

Central Appalachia

12,500

1.2

$54.0

$2.20

Northern Appalachia

13,000

3

$53.0

$2.05

Illinois Basin

11,800

5

$43.35

$1.46

Powder River Basin

8,800

0.8

$11.55

$0.66

Uinta Basin

11,700

0.8

$39.35

$1.68

Natural Gas (Henry Hub)

n/a

0.01

n/a

$2.75


Coal production in the U.S. rose sharply for the week ending July 18, compared to the previous week – continuing the positive trend of the past few weeks.  However production continues to fall short of last year according to the latest report from the Energy Information Agency (EIA) for the week.

Read more: Weekly Coal Production & Price Report: July, 24, 2015

Coal Miners Turn Out to Support State Water Regulations

More than 80 coal miners packed a state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) public hearing in support of changes to two West Virginia water quality standards. The crowd of miners, wearing their work clothes with reflective stripes, greatly outnumbered a handful of environmental group representatives.

DEP’s Division of Water and Waste Management has proposed changes to the way West Virginia calculates its standards for aluminum and selenium.  The proposed new rule would effectively bring the state’s standards into compliance with the rest of the nation.  

Read more: Coal Miners Turn Out to Support State Water Regulations

Coal Facts 2015 in Production

The 2015 edition of Coal Facts, the West Virginia Coal Association’s annual statistical report, is now in production and will be ready for distribution within the next two weeks. The publication will feature updates on the status of the coal industry in the state, production, employment and distribution data, a review of state coal severance tax collections and distributions as well as county-by-county data.

Read more: Coal Facts 2015 in Production