Virginians opposed to a plan for mountaintop removal coal mining staged a rally Wednesday outside of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Washington headquarters.
The demonstrators want the EPA to deny a permit for surface mining operations at Ison Rock Ridge, a mountain in Wise County.
Virginia’s Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy has reviewed a permit application from A & G Coal and will sign off on it so long as the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers give their approvals, Gavin Bledsoe, acting director of the department’s Division of Mined Land Reclamation, has said.
Opponents say the operation will harm the environment and the health of people who live in the area. Prior to the demonstration, they met with officials of the EPA’s water division, said Hannah Morgan of the Sierra Club, one of the groups involved with the protest.