CHARLESTON – Delegate Samuel Cann, Sr. (D - Harrison) is one of five lawmakers to be appointed by the House Speaker Richard Thompson (D - Wayne) to a newly formed special committee to closely examine all issues surrounding the coal mine permitting process.
“I will work with this committee to find workable solutions to the delays in the mine permitting process while considering all sides of the issue,” Cann said. “Together, we will resolve problems that have slowed the permitting process and prevented our hard-working coal miners from earning their living.”
The committee was established through House Resolution 14, which the House passed unanimously. The committee will be charged with studying all issues relevant to the procedures of federal agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining, as well as the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.
“We must do whatever we can to support our state’s coal industry and workers and at the same time, ensure that appropriate environmental protections are adhered to,” Cann said. “The delay in the permitting process should be a priority for the entire legislature, and I will work to make sure that happens while inside and outside this committee. We must find a way to make the permitting process more efficient and productive.”
Cann will be joined by Delegates Roy Givens ( D - Brooke),Tim Manchin (D - Marion), Greg Butcher (D - Logan) and John Shott (R - Mercer). They will be meeting March 3, 2010 to hear a presentation from the Department of Environmental Protection.
“This committee will thoroughly examine every mining permit issue. We will mediate discussions between agencies and affected parties as we search for the true cause of the delay. I am looking forward to getting started,” Cann said.