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.

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.  

U.S. Coal Production Up Again Week Over Week 

Coal Commodity Region/Fuel

Avg. BTU




Central Appalachia





Northern Appalachia





Illinois Basin





Powder River Basin





Uinta Basin





Natural Gas (Henry Hub)





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.

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.

Support Changes to WV’s Water Quality Standards that will Help Stabilize the Coal Industry

WHENJuly 21, 2015, from 6 to 8 p.m.

WHERE:  Coopers Rock Training Room at DEP headquarters in Kanawha City, Charleston.

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

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