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Bill Raney, President

West Virginia Coal Association

Thank you, President Obama, for coming to West Virginia to discuss the rampant drug problem faced by our state, our region and, indeed, our nation. 

Perhaps no place has been more affected by the scourge of drugs — both prescription and illegal — than West Virginia. And perhaps no place in West Virginia has been more affected than the coalfields.

I can honestly say I don’t think there is a family in this state that hasn’t been touched by this problem.

Whether it is the disabled coal miner who becomes addicted to pain medications or the teenager who gets hooked on illegal drugs or even the middle-aged professional who becomes dependent on alcohol or narcotics, substance abuse spares no one.

CHARLESTON – The U.S. Senate passed a pair of resolutions November 17th  that disapprove of the two primary components of the EPA’s job-killing “Clean Power Plan.” The bills were passed in large part through the bipartisan leadership of West Virginia Senators Capito and Manchin, who joined with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), in pushing the legislation through.

CHARLESTON -- In the next two weeks, initial pre-registration information for the 2016 West Virginia Mining Symposium will be forwarded to all members and interested parties.  As usual, this 42nd Annual event will be held at the Charleston Civic Center and will feature environmental and safety workshops and a full agenda of national and state experts and leaders discussing issues and developments most pertinent to our industry, as well as the annual Environmental Achievement and Mountaineer Guardian Safety Awards.   The specific dates for the upcoming Symposium are Wednesday, January 27th – 29th.  Please be watching for this pre-registration information as we hope this will continue to be one of the largest gatherings of coal mining people in the country.

CHARLESTON --West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WV DEP) officially submitted the Emergency Rule revisions to the state's water quality standards for aluminum and selenium to the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval. EPA has 60 days following receipt of a proposed state water quality standard revision to approve the change or 90 days to disapprove the proposed modification. On Sunday, the Legislative Rulemaking-Review Committee of the West Virginia Legislature approved the companion package for the Emergency Rule without modification.

CHARLESTON -- During the November 18thInterim meetings,  the Legislature's Rulemaking-Review Committee (LRRC)   considered the proposed comprehensive rule to implement Senate Bill 423, the state's (revised) Aboveground Storage Tank Act. The rule, 47 CSR  63, was heavily modified by the agency in response to concerns raised by the Legislature. An inclusive copy of the rule as it will appear after the legislative modifications will be provided once it is available from the committee. With respect to the coal industry-specific concern regarding the default categorization of water treatment tanks as "Level One" tanks under the rule, the Committee specifically-instructed the agency to work with the Association to develop mutually-agreeable language that would classify water treatment tanks as level two tanks, to be as offered to an amendment when the rule is considered by the full Legislature in 2016.

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