Charleston, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia Environmental Protection secretary Randy Huffman and other environmental officials are due to testify about the effect of mountaintop removal coal mining on water quality at a U.S. Senate hearing.
Also testifying at Thursday's Environment & Public Works subcommittee hearing is Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition organizer Maria Gunnoe.
The subcommittee on water and wildlife is chaired by Maryland democrat Benjamin Cardin, who is sponsoring legislation to ban mountaintop mining.
Mountaintop removal is a form of surface mining that relies on explosives and heavy equipment to uncover multiple coal seams.
Critics say it destroys habitat and damages water quality by burying streams, among other things.
Most mountaintop mining occurs in West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky.
(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
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