WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today praised the Army Corps of Engineers for conducting public hearings in six states on the proposed suspension and mediation of Nationwide Permit 21, a federal permit that enables responsible coal production. Rebeckah Adcock, Minority Counsel on the Senate Environment and Public Works Minority staff, is in Kentucky today to present public comments on behalf of Sen. Inhofe.
"I am pleased the Army Corps of Engineers responded to my request for openness and transparency by holding additional hearings on the proposed suspension of an essential national coal mining permit," Senator Inhofe said. "These hearings will be held across Appalachia, a region of the country where coal jobs sustain the livelihoods of small communities. It is critical that the Corps hear directly from those who will be impacted by federal policies. I hope the discussion leads to a result that appropriately balances environmental protection with the concern for maintaining and creating jobs and growing local economies throughout Appalachia."
On August 11, 2009, Senator Inhofe sent a letter to the Corps requesting additional hearings to allow for additional public comment. The Corps hearings will take place in six states this week, including Pikeville, Kentucky; Charleston, West Virginia; Knoxville, Tennessee; Cambridge, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Big Stone Gap, Virginia.