Regulators in West Virginia have denied a petition to block strip mining on Blair Mountain. The mountain was the site of a seminal battle in the fight to unionize the coalfields, and last month more than 1000 labor and environmental activists led a march to get the site listed to the National Register of Historic Places.
Coal companies own permits on the mountain, and have expressed interest in mining the ridgeline. Activists also filed a petition with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, hoping to get the agency to declare the mountain ‘unsuitable for mining’ because of its historic significance. The petition was deemed ‘frivolous’ and denied yesterday.