CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The Department of Environmental Protection has rejected a petition demanding it declare Logan County's historic Blair Mountain unsuitable for mining.
The coalition that petitioned DEP last month says a letter Wednesday declared the request "frivolous."
DEP mining director Tom Clarke says some areas are exempt from designation under state law because they have mining permits issued after August 1977. Others are exempt because they were previously mined.
Clarke says DEP can't consider the new petition because it mirrors one submitted 20 years ago. It relied on the same factual issues and was also rejected.
The fate of the mountain where 10,000 unionizing coal miners fought in 1921 is also being played out in federal court, where groups are trying to have it returned to the National Register of Historic Places.
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