W.Va. Reps Press EPA On Mountaintop Mining Permits

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Charleston, W.Va. (AP) -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency director Lisa Jackson says she believes the agency has a role in ensuring that coal is mined in an environmentally safe way.

Jackson's comments came during a hearing Thursday on the Clean Water Act held by the U.S. House's Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

In response to questioning from West Virginia democrat Nick Rahall, Jackson said EPA does not have a hidden agenda against the coal industry.

But she said epa has a responsibility to address mining issues that affect water quality.

EPA recently held up 79 mining permits in West Virginia and three other states for additional review.

Fellow committee member West Virginia republican Shelley Moore Capito told Jackson that EPA needs to be consistent.

(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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