Pacific Coast Coal Company is trying to start open-pit coal mining at the John Henry No. 1 Coal Mine just outside of Black Diamond, WA., after more than 20 years of dormancy and repeated violations for improper waste disposal on site.
PCCC seeks to mine about 123,000 short tons of coal per year for six years–coal that would emit as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year as driving 51,500 cars. Their proposal comes at exactly the moment when we need to drastically reduce emissions. The project will cause harmful environmental impacts to local water quality, hydrology, and air quality – risking public health and reversing decades of progress towards transitioning Washington away from dirty fossil fuels.
Despite this, the federal permitting agency for the mine, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, has found that the reopening of this mine would have “No Significant Impact” on our health or environment.
Coal is the dirtiest fossil fuel, emitting twice as much CO2 as other fossil fuels. The reopening of the John Henry coal mine fundamentally undermines Washington State and King County policies on coal and climate change.
The Washington State Department of Ecology and King County Department of Permitting have both stated that the mine is not up to current standards and that the federal review is inadequate. King County Executive Dow Constantine has said that he will fight this with every tool at his disposal; we need Governor Inslee and Director of the Department of Ecology, Maia Bellon, to do the same.
This hazardous and climate-wrecking project cannot not move forward. As the people of Washington state, we call on our leaders to come out publicly in opposition to this project.
Our State leaders have the ability to stop this project and must exercise this power.
In order to ensure King County remains coal-free
- The WA State Department of Ecology should rescind the existing NPDES permit for the mine, disallow any other permits for the project, and seek to implement stricter regulations on fossil fuel projects and coal mining.
- King County should, if possible, rescind PCCC’s existing grading permit, or any other required permits for the mine, and seek to implement stricter regulations on fossil fuel projects and coal mining.
- Ecology and King County should weigh in in opposition to this project to the Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation, and do everything in their power to ensure that the federal government knows the risks of this project and denies the federal permit.
Join us in stopping the John Henry Coal mine!