The Keystone Surface Mining online public hearing may be over, but the fight for clean water never ends! The draft NPDES permit for the Keystone permit site has been released and Friends of Blackwater is reviewing it for errors or short comings. This discharge could be the difference between life and death for many aquatic plants and animals that live downstream of this mining site.
A National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit is required whenever water is discharged from a point source, a localized/stationary pollution source, into waters of the United States (as opposed to a sewer drain or treatment system). In this case, the NPDES permit is needed because the Keystone permit site has 5 discharge points, all entering Beaver Creek.
Friends of Blackwater will be submitting official comments upon a full review of this draft permit. We’ll consult with trout stream specialists, partners working in the Watershed, and draw from our own knowledge of Beaver Creek and water quality to help protect this Blackwater tributary to the best of our ability. Now that Beaver Creek is restored to a level that can support trout (thanks WVDNR and partners!) we’ll be arguing for this NPDES permit to only allow Keystone to discharge high quality water into Beaver Creek.
Stay tuned for more a more detailed review of this permit and to learn how you can help advocate for clean water in Beaver Creek!