Center for Biological Diversity Applauds Environmental Protection Agency Decision to Hold Back 79 Mountaintop Removal Permits for Further Review

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Tierra Curry, (928) 522-3681

Center for Biological Diversity Applauds Environmental Protection Agency Decision to Hold Back 79 Mountaintop Removal Permits for Further Review

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Center for
Biological Diversity supports the Environmental Protection Agency’s
decision today to hold back 79 mountaintop removal coal mining
permits in Appalachia for further review. If the permits were to be
approved, coal companies would be allowed to destroy tens of
thousands of acres of hardwood forest and bury hundreds of miles of
streams in toxic mining waste. 

“Daily in Appalachia, nearly 4 million
pounds of explosives are used to blast one of the oldest mountain
ranges on earth, endangering the lives and property of residents and
destroying streams and forests that provide habitat for an
incredible diversity of fish and wildlife,” said Tierra Curry,
conservation biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity.
“Holding back these permits is a good step toward ending this
destruction, but the Obama administration needs to ban
mountaintop-removal coal mining and fund the development of an
alternative green economy in Appalachia.”

In March, the EPA issued a statement
saying they would “use the best science and follow the letter of the
law” in reviewing mountaintop removal permits, but then in May they
approved 42 new permits, more than were approved during the entire
Bush administration. Today’s decision to subject pending permits to
further environmental review does not revoke any permits.
Mountaintop-removal coal mining has already destroyed 500 mountains,
more than 1 million acres of hardwood forest, and more than 1,200
miles of streams.

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At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature - to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law, and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters, and climate that species need to survive.

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