Pollution Expert On Utah Strip Mine

Strip miningPollution expert Charles H. Norris, chief executive of the Denver consulting firm Geo-Hydro Inc., testified Friday that Utah regulators set lax pollution standards for a strip mine near Bryce Canyon National Park.  The Sierra Club and three other environmental groups are challenging a permit for the Alton Coal Development LLC coal mine, saying the operation would pollute waterways and kick up dust 10 miles from the park.  Bryce Canyon’s superintendent also has objected.

Alton is seeking federal approval to expand the strip mine onto thousands of acres of surrounding public lands, where the shallow coal seam continues. It has not revealed a buyer for the coal, but Utah has several coal-fired power plants.  Opponents contend Utah set a low threshold for sediment that would run off the strip mine into mountain lakes, streams and the wild and scenic Virgin River.

Read more: deseretnews.com.

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