CHARLESTON – Our state and our nation lost something special early Monday morning with the death of Sen. Robert C. Byrd.  Our nation lost a leader and a respected senior senator. Our state lost so much more – we lost an icon and a true champion of our people and the people of Appalachia.
 
Byrd died earlier this morning at the age of 92 at Inova Hospital in Fairfax, Va.  He was the longest-serving member of Congress in history and was a recognized authority on the institution’s history, its rules and procedures.
 
“Senator Byrd was a friend,” said Bill Raney. “He was a personal friend of mine and of the people of our state.  He was a son of the coalfields and he held a special place in his heart for our coal miners.  He worked hard for West Virginia and for our people. His love for our state was matched only by the high regard our people held for him.”
 
Byrd had served in the U.S. Senate since 1958. During that time he had been the majority leader twice, chaired the Appropriations Committee and written a four-volume history of the Senate.
 
Sen. Byrd’s wife of 68 years, Erma, died in 2006. The senator is survived by his two daughters, Mona and Marjorie, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.  Plans for Senator Byrd’s memorial services were not disclosed as of the time of this release.

To view the latest video from FACES of Coal. The video features stream biologist Ben Faulkner who explains why conductivity is a faulty standard for measuring stream health and breaks down the science of conductivity in easy-to-understand terms.

To watch the video, go to www.facesofcoal.org/facts/conductivity

News Release Courtesy of the MTM Coaltion

CHARLESTON – Thursday’s announcement by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of its decision to suspend the use of Nationwide Permit 21 (NWP 21) in the Appalachian region of six states is discriminatory and threatens the economy of the region.

In a June 17 announcement, the Corps said they will immediately suspend the issuance of mining permits under the NWP 21 standards for the mining industry in West Virginia as well as Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia.

The Corps said in a release that the suspension “will remain in effect until the Corps takes further action on NWP 21 or until the program expires on March 18, 2012.”

Destroying Thousands of West Virginia Jobs
 
SB-696, otherwise known as the Alexander/Cardin or the “Mountaintop Mining” Bill, is on the move in the U.S. Senate. The bill would essentially ban surface mining in West Virginia and threatens thousands of mining jobs across the state and Appalachia.
 
Co-sponsored by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), the bill currently sits in committee. It is our understanding that the bill will likely be “marked up” during the next two weeks, a process which precedes a committee vote in which it will likely pass. 

The West Virginia Coal Association (WVCA) hereby submits the following comments and observations regarding the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to revoke the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to Mingo-Logan Coal Company for its Spruce No. 1 Mine (Spruce) in West Virginia.