Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 19, 2012

W.Va. activists battle Blair Mountain mine permit


Associated Press

BLAIR, W.Va. (AP) — Activists trying to protect West Virginia's historic Blair Mountain from strip mining aren't giving up.

Residents, environmentalists and others are fighting the renewal of a mining permit that St. Louis-based Arch Coal is seeking from the Department of Environmental Protection.

The public comment period on the Adkins Fork permit ends Friday.

In 1921, some unionizing 10,000 coal miners battled authorities and hired guns in what became the nation's largest armed uprising since the Civil War. At least 16 men died before the miners surrendered.

Blair resident Kenneth King has tried to preserve the battlefield for decades. He says the mining would only add to the cumulative impacts on the Spruce Fork watershed, where 17,000 acres are already permitted or being mined.

He also worries about human health effects.