At full production the mine would employ 235 miners and create another 300 indirect and induced jobs in the area.
The jobs created by the Spruce permit would be high-paying, long-term employment opportunities. These jobs would pay approximately $70,000 annually with full benefits.
Total economic impact of this operation is estimated at approximately $15 0 million annually.
The Spruce operation is projected to produce approximately …..
The permit is the most scrutinized mining permit in history in West Virginia or the Appalachian region.
During the permit’s 10 year review, the original mine design and production levels were significantly reduced to address the concerns of the EPA -- for example, the final permitted acreage was reduced by 27 percent and the fill placement was reduced by 57 percent. Total recoverable reserves of coal were reduced by 10.6 million tons as a result.
The Spruce mine permit was issued in June 1007. Coal production has commenced and the initial workforce has been hired and is working.
EPA participated along with the other agencies every step of the way during the permit’s 10 year review and had previously praised the company’s efforts to redesign the application.
If the EPA revokes the Spruce permit, it will be the first time such an action has been taken on a mining project and only the 14th time the EPA has exercised that option since the program was created in 1972.
It is an unprecedented action to revoke a permit that has already been issued and production, employment and investment has been mobilized.
A decision by the EPA to revoke an issued permit will forever cast doubt over the validity of any permit obtained anywhere in West Virginia for any industry -- not just coal mining!
The EPA has continued to delay a decision on whether or not to revoke the permit ... It has had more than enough time to make its decision and should not delay any longer. Further delay on an official decision allows the EPA to pocket veto the permit by doing nothing.
EPA’s concerns regarding the Spruce Mine have been addressed by the State of West Virginia through its environmental programs. The fact that EPA continues to disregard these conclusions is further evidence that the agency has no respect for the state’s environmental programs or the sovereignty of the Legislature to promulgate environmental protection standards.
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