National

Sep 11, 2009 12:46 PM by Tim Huber

EPA identifies 79 coal mine permits for review

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has identified 79 coal mine permit applications in four Appalachian states for additional scrutiny.

The agency said Friday it wants to make certain the proposed surface mines won't cause water pollution and violate the Clean Water Act. The mines are in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and one in Tennessee.

The announcement is the latest in the Obama administration's efforts to curb environmental damage caused by a practice known as mountaintop removal mining. Earlier this year, EPA said it was going to give additional scrutiny to between 150 and 200 pending applications for new or expanded surface mines.

The EPA says 29 have been removed from the list for various reasons since June.

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