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What is the real cost of the agency’s delays of mining permits?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to hold up 20 coal mining permits along with dozens more across the region as part of their “Enhanced Review” process.

What does that mean for our coal miners and the state’s economy?

An analysis of the permits being delayed shows that the de facto moratorium on issuing permits is endangering approximately 1,800 jobs and almost 19 million tons of annual production – approximately 12 percent of the state’s total coal production.

In terms of long-term impacts, the total life-of-mine (permit) production put in limbo by the agency is approximately 132 million tons.
 
Givens to Chair Mining Permits Committee
Wheeling News-Register - February 10, 2010
Delegate Roy Givens will chair a new House committee charged with reviewing issues pertaining to coal mining permits in West Virginia.
The appointment of Givens, D-Brooke, was announced Tuesday by House Speaker Richard Thompson, D-Wayne.
The Select Committee on Coal Mining Permits was established in the House of Delegates last week through a unanimous vote. The move comes after West Virginia leaders recently spoke out because federal officials have stopped or delayed necessary mining permits for companies seeking to open new mines in the state.
According to Thompson, the committee will be charged with studying all issues relevant to the procedures of federal agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Department of Interior's Office of Surface Mining, as well as the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.
"For the past several months, I have been discussing my concern regarding the delays in the mine permitting process," Thompson said in a released statement. "This committee will work to monitor the status of pending mining permits, seek timetables for the issuance of permits and strive to better understand what issues need to be resolved to achieve consistency and uniformity throughout the permitting process."
In addition to Givens, other members of the committee are Delegates Sam Cann, D-Harrison; Tim Manchin, D-Marion; Greg Butcher, D-Logan; and John Shott, R-Mercer.
"A big part of our job will be to gather information, work with the involved agencies and facilitate a discussion among both regulatory officials and other affected parties," Givens said. "We'll be dealing with a very complex process. What we're seeking is some clarity."


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