Over the past two years, the EPA has filed specific objections to 36 surface mining permits previously approved by the state of Kentucky to mining companies that wanted to dump waste into streams in Eastern Kentucky. This week, there were public hearings on the EPA's objection to the permits in both Frankfort and Pikeville, and the EPA is accepting written comments until June 21. Afterward, the agency will decide whether to affirm, alter or withdraw its objections to the permits.
Pro-coal and anti-coal forces gathered in Frankfort for well-orchestrated rallies prior to the EPA hearings. Friday on Byline, WFPL's environment reporter Erica Peterson and writer Bill Estep of the Lexington Herald-Leader reviewed the ongoing story. We also heard tape of several demonstrators and speakers from the rallies.