Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on August 20, 1972 · Page 28
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August 20, 1972

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 28

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Charleston, West Virginia
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Sunday, August 20, 1972
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Page 28
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4B--Augunt 20, 1972 Sunday Gasette-Mail -Ctt«rkMt«n, WMt Vlrtlnll TVA Stripping Reclamation Policy Inadequate, GAO Says By Mary Walton - Surface mining practices dictated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) here failed to achieve "adequate reclamation at strip mined lands," but there to "significant improvement" in hew requirements, asserts a report by the General Accounting Office. Chief among its recommendations is the public power company "should consider further limiting mining on steep slopes." The report was prepared by the congressional w a t c h d o g agency at the request of Rep. Ken Hechler, D- W. Va., the sponsor of federal legislation to abolish strip mining, The GAO reviewed 25 TVA contracts, 13 In mountainious areas, and found a restriction on mining slopes greater than 28 degrees to be ineffective against glides. Seven slides were located on Tennessee slopes between 24 and 28 degrees, the report says. Unlike private power companies, TVA in 1965 began setting operational and reclamation standards in its coal purchase contracts, the GAO studied operations in the four states where TVA's policy for extending a mined coal: Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Illinois. Under pressure from environmentalists, TVA toughened its standards in December 1971. But the GAO report found that no contracts containing revised reclamation requirements had been awarding up to June 29, 1972. TVA's first restriction on mining on steep slopes wasn't added to its contracts until 1971. The GAO report further notes that excess son acidity adversely affected revegetation efforts and TVA "had never refused to| award a contract because of soil acidity even- when such a condition was known to exist." It found "vague and inconsistent" TVA'z policy for extending a two-year deadline for complete reclamation. · · · "IN ITS pell-mell rush to produce cheap power," Hechler said, "TVA is Mcriflcing the land. This is the same pattern followed in many states, where enforcement of strip mining laws has been seriously weakened by the pressure for production. "Although the GAO report did not pass Judgement of whether strip mining of coal should be abolished, the analysis in the report reinforces my own conclusions that this is the only feasible course of action," Hechler said. He added In an interview Sat urday that he Is "not optimistic" about enforcement of pending federal strip mining legislation, unless responsibility is lodged with the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency rather than the "production-oriented REP. KEN HECHLER Hits "Pell-Mell" Rush Bureau of Mines'* which has "repeatedly failed to enforce the 1969 Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act." Among GAO recommendations were the following: ^ · G r e a t e r restitution on strip mining on sleep slope*. "··Grading the final ·trip- ping bench to follow the original contour of the land, to "minimize the entrapment of water and diminish the view of the unsightly highwall." ··Careful attention to excess soil acidity before including it in a mining plan. Stockpiling and using topsoil to improve revegetion. The GAO also s u g g e s t e d that TVA strengthen enforcement of its reclamation requirements by defining actions to be taken when suppliers don't live up to the contract requirements and more precise delineation of inspector's duties. 1 v m ^ iliT; Copyright im th» Kraft' Co. ltom» and PricM Good Thru All- full 26tti, 1973. W* reterv* In* right ta limit quantititl. Nan* ·old to dcalin. U V G o v t I n s p e c t e d Whole Fryers or Mixed Chicken Parts MLE KftOCC* COUPON twKtra Park'. Drip «nd Bagwlar Vac M Caff** NOW YOU CAN BUILD EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT. WHERE YOU J WANT IT! m AND SAVE UP TO 40 HOT A Division of (?*) evans PRODUCT* com/»/*mr ...fflHIll'.'. 1 ..',,. 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