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EPA criticizes plan for King Coal Highway segment

Jun. 24, 2013 @ 01:50 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency says an environmental study of the proposed construction of a segment of the King Coal Highway doesn’t consider alternatives that could reduce the project’s adverse effects.

In a letter released Monday, the EPA says the study is limited. It recommends that alternatives be evaluated to ensure that the least environmentally damaging option is chosen.

The study involves a segment of the highway from Delbarton to Belo. CONSOL Energy plans to grade land for the road bed as part of its proposed Buffalo Mountain surface mine.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Highway Administration prepared the study in cooperation with the state Department of Transportation. The EPA sent the letter to the agencies on Friday.

The Charleston Gazette first reported the EPA’s concerns.