​Coal mining permit not renewed for Shepherd Bend

Laura Testino

Multi-billion dollar coal company, Drummond Company, Inc., did not renew its permit to mine on Shepherd Bend, per a statement released last Friday, AL.com reported. Shepherd Bend, an area of the Black Warrior River, is less than 1000 feet from the source for most of Birmingham’s drinking water. According to Drummond’s release, the company did not feel that returns from the coal mine would outweigh the cost of renewing the permit. 

The statement comes after a several-year-long controversy over the area, in which the opponents – Birmingham Water Works and Black Warrior Riverkeeper group – argued that mining the area would result in coal dust and other pollutants contaminating the water source, AL.com said.

The University owns the land where the coal mine sits, prompting Charles Scribner, the executive director of the Black Warrior Riverkeeper group, to send an open letter to incoming president Stuart Bell, informing him of the potential concerns of selling or leasing the land for mining purposes, AL.com reported.