One hearing will be held June 5 at the Frankfurt Convention Center from 7 to 11 p.m.; and two will be held June 7 at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center—the first from noon to 4 p.m. and the second from 7 to 11 p.m.

Since 2009, the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection’s Division of Water (KDOW) has authorized discharges from approximately 2,500 existing and new coal mining and processing projects under the CWA, mostly under an approved coal general permit. KDOW requires individual NPDES permits for mining or processing activities that discharge pollutants into waters that are already polluted and are not meeting water quality standards, along with new or expanding mines within 5 miles upstream of a drinking water intake. In the last three years, KDOW has issued 115 such individual permits. For the 36 individual permits that are the subject of the hearings, the EPA has been “working with KDOW” to collect and evaluate data on the health of the waters that receive discharges from the mines.

“Our intent is not to stop coal mining, but to ensure it proceeds in an environmentally acceptable way,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Gwen Keyes Fleming.

Persons interested in attending a hearing are encouraged (but not required) to pre-register at least 72 hours before the hearing online or by calling 703-577-4953. When pre-registering, persons may request to speak at one of the hearings or they may sign up to speak in person on the day of a hearing, however, space is limited.