There is a lot to be troubled about concerning the decision of the EMC Hearing Officer, James F. Hampton, who's been a judge, a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Alabama and a hearing officer in the BARD Motion to Intervene regarding SWMA. Mr. Hampton has quite a long pedigree as a state inclined legal eagle and his conclusion about this controversial mine permit is not unexpected, but it is disappointing.
Page 7 Item 10 is also disappointing and allows a lot of wiggle room for what ADEM may or may not do if issuing this permit becomes problematic. The chances are high, if the history of mine discharge in Alabama is any indicator, that there will be problems and plenty of them:
"Permit does not contain limitations on chlorides, sulfide, total dissolved solids or aluminum, which are commonly associated with acid mine drainage. Under this permit, ADEM may modify the terms of the permit, if, in the future, it is shown to ADEM's satisfaction that the permit is not protective of water quality."EMC Docket No 09-04-2011 07 20 Report of Hearing Officer