I had to repost this because it’s such an important move ahead against mountain-top mining, which in my opinion is one of the worst abuses against the natural world that I can think of (tar sand gas extraction being another). This comes from a March 29, 2010 blog post from Climate Progress.
“Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed its first Clean Water Act veto ever for a previously permitted mountaintop removal project, “the largest mountaintop-removal permit in West Virginia history.” Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson has the story in this repost. The veto would reverse a permit granted in 2007 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Arch Coal to dig a 2,278-acre coal stripmine and fill six valleys and 43,000 linear feet of streams with the toxic debris.
Based on the “unequivocal” evidence that the damage from mountaintop mining is irreversible, the EPA is finally enforcing the Clean Water Act to protect West Virginia’s residents: Coal, and coal mining, is part of our nation’s energy future, and for that reason EPA has made repeated efforts to foster dialogue and find a responsible path forward. But we must prevent the significant and irreversible damage that comes from mining pollution — and the damage from this project would be irreversible. This recommendation is consistent with our broader Clean Water Act efforts in Central Appalachia. EPA has a duty under the law to protect water quality and safeguard the people who rely on these waters for drinking, fishing and swimming. The EPA began the process to halt this permit more than a year ago.
Although this veto will be finalized after a sixty-day comment period, many other projects continue. Coalfield residents are putting their lives on the line to stop mountaintop removal projects in Appalachia, which Barack Obama called an “environmental disaster.”
If you’re not familiar with mountain-top mining, a heinous practice that is taking place in the once-lush, green forested mountains of West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee, check out a gripping video at http://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2198. Even if you live on the other side of the country or the planet, you can’t help but be moved by this movie.