Walker County residents worried over possible strip mine

WALKER COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Concerned residents gathered at a public meeting in Walker County over a proposed strip mine. Critics fear it will put a key drinking water supply at risk.

The proposed "Shepherd Bend Mine" would be located along the Mulberry Fork of the Black Warrior River just south of Cordova.

Opponents say the close proximity to a Birmingham Water Works Board tank could hurt the quality of drinking water for thousands of residents and hinder economic development in the area.

"We're very concerned the dirty water coming out of mine discharges would have a negative effect not only on the river and aquatic habitat, but drinking water supply," says Nelson Brooke.

Supporters say the project would bring an economic boost to the area.
 "The biggest benefit is income and wages," says Moe Gamble. "We will employ 100 employees counting contract employees and vendors."

The Alabama Surface Mining Commission now has 60 days to take action on the permit application for the "Shepherd Bend Mine." The commission says it will review comments and concerns by residents, then decide whether to make changes, accept or deny the permit.

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