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Audit report finds West Virginia lawmakers, DEP risking mining reclamation program insolvency through lack of oversight

By Mike Tony, Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va — West Virginia lawmakers and environmental regulators risk letting the state’s mining reclamation program slip into insolvency through gaping holes in statutory and permitting oversight, according to a new state legislative audit report.

The audit report presented to a joint panel of state senators and delegates Monday by the Post Audit Division calls on the state Legislature to commission a study to evaluate the state’s coal mining reclamation program.

The report finds that the state Department of Environmental Protection has failed to comply with state and federal law in its reclamation program oversight, resulting in missed opportunities to financially shore up a program that will keep requiring hundreds of millions of dollars to reclaim permit sites per federal regulations.

The state mining reclamation program has no known contingency plans if reclamation funds were to become insolvent, the 80-page report cautions…

To read more: https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/energy_and_environment/audit-report-finds-wv-lawmakers-dep-risking-mining-reclamation-program-insolvency-through-lack-of-oversight/article_93d6f91d-bd3c-5963-b4a3-af341dfecd20.html

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