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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.  

 

“This is important because it helps bring West Virginia back to a playing field that is level with other states, so our coal miners have the same rules as everyone else,” said Jason Bostic, vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association. “It actually increases protections for water, and it helps make West Virginia’s coal industry more competitive. 

“Right now, there are some 8,000 coal miners in West Virginia who are laid off, along with tens of thousands of people who held jobs that depended on coal. We have cities and entire counties that are facing deep cuts in services.  We applaud this as another step that has been taken by our state’s leadership at the Legislature to begin the process of stabilizing the state’s coal industry.

We would like to thank all the coal miners and their families and friends who came out Tuesday night to show their support.


West Virginia Coal Association - PO Box 3923 - Charleston, WV 25339 | 304-342-4153 | website developed by brickswithoutstraw