The WV Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled an online “informal conference” (permit hearing) to hear objections to the proposed 1,085-acre (1.7 square mile) “Turkeyfoot” permit on Coal River Mountain.
The hearing is Thursday, March 18, at 4 p.m. at at https://apps.dep.wv.gov/meet/S301419. You may need to download an app to log in to the conference; you may do that now to prevent delay logging in.
The purpose of the informal conference is to allow comments from those people having an interest which is or may be adversely affected by the Alpha Metallurgical Resources (formerly Contura Energy, formerly Alpha Natural Resources, formerly Massey Energy) subsidiary Republic Energy, LLC Surface Mine Application Permit No. S301419, located south of Clear Creek in Clear Fork and Marsh Fork Districts of Raleigh County.
This site is between Workman’s Creek and Clear Fork, contiguous to Alpha’s existing 10.2 square miles of mountaintop removal (MTR) and waste sludge dams on Coal River Mountain. Like other MTR sites, it will cause carcinogenic blasting dust to fall into neighboring communities up to (at least) 5 miles away, where residents, young and old, will breathe it. MTR is associated with a host of deadly illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, and birth defects.
Please consider logging on and voicing your objection on Thursday, March 18, at 4 p.m.
Here is a video of the site, with a dust cloud drifting from an existing Alpha MTR site two miles away: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkB9watQzak.
Here is the same dust cloud from the source, drifting through the neighboring McDowell Hollow neighborhood: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTb9Bm2otxE.
Here’s scientist Michael Hendryx talking about the health impacts from mountaintop removal, at this link.
Regarding the hearing itself, the WVDEP permit supervisor says:
“There will be a moderator who will begin the meeting and explain the rules of the meeting. The moderator will then turn the meeting over the Permit Supervisor who will provide details of this proposed permit application. The Permit Review Team Leader will then take over for a further detailed explanation of this permit application. After that is completed, there will be a Q&A period. This will be for questions pertaining to the application. The entire permit review team, I&E, and NPDES will be available to answer questions. After that will be the comment period, in which anyone having comments to be placed on record may do so at that time.
“To answer your question concerning signing in and questions, this process will be explained in the rules at the start of the meeting. Attendees may sign in through Teams Chat or when they simply log in. In Teams, there is a Raise Hand function that will be used during the Q& A period of the Conference. If attendees have technical issues, they can message through the Teams chat for assistance. Questions may also be asked via Teams Chat.”