A Birmingham, Ala., water utility and a local conservation group, the Black Warrior Riverkeeper, have teamed up against a coal mine proposed by Mays Mining, Inc., citing concerns over permit deficiencies and potential drinking water contamination.
The proposed Alabama Surface Mining Commission permit would authorize surface coal mining at a former industrial site with contaminated groundwater just 5.5 miles upstream of Birmingham’s major drinking water intakes, which service 200,000 people. According to Black Warrior Riverkeeper, the permit does not adequately address the existing contamination at the site or how mining could safely occur.
The public comment period ended on March 29. Local residents and advocacy groups have been fighting proposals to mine coal at this site since at least 2006. –By Hannah McAlister