The Tennessee Clean Water Network will be speaking against a proposed discharge permit for a coal strip-mining operation in Claiborne County at a Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation public meeting on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, at the TDEC’s Knoxville Environmental Field Office, 3711 Middlebrook Pike.

From 3:00-5:00 p.m., TDEC will hold the preliminary meeting to discuss and review plans. The public hearing to take comments will start at 6 p.m. The public can also comment on the federal Office of Surface Mining decision to issue a Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) permit for the proposed Clear Fork Surface Mine issued on Feb. 14, 2014.

The public meeting concerns an application from Kopper Glo Mining, LLC for pollutant discharge permits for its proposed Clear Fork Surface Mine, a new 578-acre coal strip mine on King Mountain above Clairfield in Claiborne County that would discharge to Rock Creek, King Hollow, Straight Creek, and the Clear Fork of the Cumberland River. These streams are already heavily impacted by coal mining discharges. Straight Creek and the Clear Fork are important streams for blackside dace, a federally threatened species that is intolerant of mining pollutants. Both Straight Creek and the Clear Fork are designated as Exceptional Tennessee Waters.

This is the third new strip mine proposed for the Clear Fork watershed within the last year, including Kopper Glo’s proposed 1,496 acre Cooper Ridge Surface Mine and Appolo Fuel’s 1,088-acre Sterling and Strays Surface Mine 1.