Corps suspends permit in response to Black Creek Mine challenge

Hurricane Creekkeeper John Wathen paddles Double Trouble on the Locust Fork River, in Alabama. A permit for filling streams that feed into the Locust Fork with mining material has been suspended while impacts on the popular river and its aquatic life are studied further. (© Beth Young)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has suspended a permit for stream filling in response to a challenge SELC and our partners filed last month.

In light of the claims around the permit’s adverse impacts on water quality and rare aquatic wildlife found in this section of Alabama's Locust Fork River, the Corps has decided to reconsider these issues and to consult with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service as required by the Endangered Species Act.

SELC filed the challenge on behalf of Black Warrior Riverkeeper and Defenders of Wildlife, arguing that this latest example of the Corps’ lax permitting process is inadequate for protecting the river from degradation caused by heavy metals, sediment, and polluted water from the Black Creek Mine, a 287-acre surface coal mine.

“We are pleased that the Corps is now reassessing the impacts to water quality and the fish and wildlife that depend on clean water in light of the serious issues with this permit,” said Senior Attorney Catherine Wannamaker.  “We hope that this will be a thorough and robust re-examination of the impacts to the Locust Fork, and we will continue to push for the appropriate protections that Alabama’s waters deserve.”

 

Click here to read the notice of suspension.

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