Earthjustice Update: Unregulated Coal Ash Dumping in Coal Mines

A Dolly Sods vista with the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy logo overlayed

An update from Earthjustice

November 28th, the Office of Surface Mining (OSM) received our Notice of Intent to Sue concerning their failure to respond to our 2015 petition to regulate dumping of coal ash in active and abandoned coal mines. 

EPA’s 2015 coal ash rule exempted coal ash dumped at minesites, and OSM has not closed this dangerous gap. In our 2015 petition, we asked OSM for safeguards to protect the health and environment of coalfield communities. 

Our hope (and expectation!) is that the Biden Administration will establish stringent controls.

Appalachian Mountain Advocates and Earthjustice sent the NOI on behalf of nine organizations who signed the 2015 petition: Appalachian Voices, Citizens Coal Council, Hoosier Environmental Council, Kentucky Resources Council, Prairie Rivers Network, Sierra Club, SOCM, West Virginia Highland Conservancy, and Western Organization of Resource Councils.

We will keep you apprised of developments and look forward to establishing safeguards to protect the air, water, health and economies of communities near U.S. coal mines. 


Lisa Evans

Earthjustice Senior Council

For more info about coal ash dumping in mines, read Earthjustice’s short report: Waste Deep: Filling Mines with Coal Ash is Profit for Industry, but Poison for People