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UMWA extremely concerned about impact of further delay in MTR permitting

September 30, 2009
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United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:

    “We are extremely concerned that the decision to further delay 79 permits for Appalachian surface mining operations will result in layoffs of our members who work at these operations in southern West Virginia.

    “This is especially troubling because these layoffs will not occur as a result of market conditions or some other economic reason, but simply because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) have yet again strung out this process without making clear what criteria companies are expected to follow with respect to their permit applications.

    “We know that mine operators at mines where we represent the workers have gone to great lengths to work with the EPA and the Corps to get their permits in shape to be approved. Now, once again, they are told that they face yet more delays and uncertainty.

    “It is imperative that the process for approving or rejecting permits be clarified so that everyone can know what to expect. Dragging things out only adds unnecessary pressure to coal miners, their families and their communities and makes it much more difficult to meet America’s energy and economic needs.”

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