PETTUS — As the “title mountain” in the film “The Last Mountain” with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and as current home to a tree-sit intended to halt mine blasting, Coal River Mountain has attracted a swirl of attention recently. Tuesday’s public hearing on two permits proposed for Coal River Mountain was no exception.
The hearing drew a crowd of at least 50 citizens. They came to question West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection officials and voice opinions about the permits in question. The 1,095-acre Bee Tree surface mine, near the Brushy Fork coal slurry impoundment, is up for renewal, and the proposed 264-acre Collins Fork Remediation Project strip mine, which would sit above Workman’s Creek, is pending approval.
Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. owns both mines through subsidiary Marfork Coal Company, Inc.
“I came here because of concern and love for this place. It’s not just the two permits; it’s the entire thing,” said Lisa Henderson, Rock Creek resident and daughter of Judy Bonds, a longtime leader in the movement against mountaintop removal.