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West Virginia environmental groups sue Biden administration over state reclamation bonding concerns

By Mike Tony, Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Two West Virginia-based environmental groups joined the Sierra Club in a federal lawsuit filed against the Biden administration Monday over concerns that West Virginia’s mine reclamation program is dangerously underfunded.

The lawsuit from the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy and the Sierra Club against Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement Deputy Director Glenda Owens alleges that the office has failed to require more stringent requirements for the state’s federally approved surface mining program that would ensure coal companies fully fund reclamation bonds.

The lawsuit alleges that the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement should have taken action toward stronger requirements for the program after the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection notified the office of a significant change in the state’s reclamation program.

The department sent the notification after the environmental groups that filed Monday’s lawsuit had sued to compel it to do so, arguing that the department should have informed the office that some permit holders have or will become insolvent…

To read more: https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/energy_and_environment/wv-environmental-groups-sue-biden-administration-over-state-reclamation-bonding-concerns/article_c93498d7-5503-508e-afe0-7abca7ef0267.html

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