Alabama Surface Mining Commission has public hearing on coal min - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Alabama Surface Mining Commission has public hearing on coal mining petition

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Some Central-Alabama people got a chance to voice their opinion on an appeal regarding coal mining in Jasper.

The Alabama Surface Mining Commission held a public-hearing Thursday morning. The commission denied an earlier petition from the Black Warrior Riverkeeper to set an area around a drinking water source on the river as unsuitable for coal mining.

The Riverkeeper says if Shepherd Bend Mine starts operation it will damage the water supply. He also asked the commission to reconsider the denial and accept the petition.

Some people spoke in favor and opposition.

Riverkeeper, Nelson Brooke, says "We're just simply asking that area immediately around or adjacent to where the water's drawn out of the river be set as off limits to mining and the discharge and pollution from coal mines, so the drinking water source is protected."

Patrick Cagle with the Jobkeeper Alliance says, "The Jobkeeper Alliance advocates for quality jobs and the coal industry creates thousands of quality jobs in our state, high paying jobs. We feel Black Water Warrior Riverkeeper's fight against coal threatens those jobs."

The commission is expected to make a decision next month.

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