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Corps Suspends Surface Mining Permit

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today it has suspended the use of Nationwide Permit 21 (NWP 21) in the Appalachian region of six states. NWP 21 is used to authorize discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States for surface coal mining activities. The suspension is effective immediately and applies to the Appalachian region of Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. NWP 21 continues to be available in other regions of the country.

The suspension in Appalachia will remain in effect until the Corps takes further action on NWP 21 or until NWP 21 expires on March 18, 2012. While the suspension is in effect, individuals who propose surface coal mining projects that involve discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States will have to obtain Department of the Army authorization under the Clean Water Act, through the Individual Permit process. The individual permit evaluation procedure provides increased public involvement in the permit evaluation process, including an opportunity for public comment on individual projects.

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