For Immediate Release
Raviya Ismail, (202) 667-4500, ext. 237
EPA to Corps of Engineers: Mountaintop Removal Mining Poses Serious Threat to US Waters
Obama administration reviewing pending mountaintop removal mining permits
WASHINGTON - The following statement is from Earthjustice attorney Jennifer
Chavez on today's announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency expressing "serious concerns about the need to reduce harmful
impacts on water quality caused by certain types of coal mining
practices," including mountaintop removal mining.
"This is a strong signal that the Obama administration is taking the
right steps towards recognizing the importance of sound science and the
law when it comes to mountaintop removal mining. Today's announcement
and letters from the EPA to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
demonstrate a fresh perspective on the need to completely review the
destructive impact that mountaintop removal mining has on streams and
water quality throughout Appalachia. This is a victory for the people
of Appalachia and for one of the must fundamental goals of the Clean
Water Act: to prevent our entire nation's rivers, streams and lakes
from being used as waste dumps.
"The EPA has promised to use the best science and follow the letter
of the law to review pending mountaintop removal mining permits, and we
applaud this monumental decision. We certainly hope that the EPA
recognizes what we have known all along: that mountaintop removal
mining permanently and completely destroys streams across Appalachia
and causes severe harm to water quality in downstream communities.
Nearly 30,000 Earthjustice supporters have joined thousands of others
in writing to President Obama to fully review the environmental impacts
of mountaintop removal mining, and we are pleased to see that their
voices have been heard. While the Obama administration reviews the
permits, it is critical that we continue working to protect the lasting
American legacy of the mountains and streams in the communities of
Earthjustice is a non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the magnificent places, natural resources, and wildlife of this earth, and to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment. We bring about far-reaching change by enforcing and strengthening environmental laws on behalf of hundreds of organizations, coalitions and communities.