The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Amy Kober, 206-213-0330 x23

Salazar Moves to Withdraw Bush Administration Rule on Mountaintop Mining

American Rivers applauds effort to protect clean water


Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar's move today to withdraw a
Bush Administration rule that allows more waste from mountaintop mining
to be dumped in or near small streams was applauded by American Rivers,
the nation's leading river conservation organization.

The Bush Administration's rule allowed coal mine operators to dump
waste into streambeds if that was found to be the cheapest and most
convenient disposal option. This approach buries streams vital for
clean water supply, natural flood protection, and fish and wildlife
habitat, and hurts communities that depend on these streams. Secretary
Salazar directed the United States Department of Justice to file a
pleading with the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. requesting
that the Bush administration rule be vacated

The President of American Rivers, Rebecca Wodder, made the following statement:

"Small mountain streams are the capillaries of our nation's
circulatory system and are a vital source of clean drinking water. We
applaud Secretary Salazar for his commitment to protecting these
streams and the communities that depend on them."

"Water is life, and nothing is more fundamental to the health and
well-being of our communities. In an era of climate change, small
streams and clean water will need more protection, not less. Today's
announcement by Secretary Salazar is a bold step in a new direction - a
step that signals that the Obama Administration understands and will
protect the important role that rivers play in the lives of America's

American Rivers is the only national organization standing up for healthy rivers so our communities can thrive. Through national advocacy, innovative solutions and our growing network of strategic partners, we protect and promote our rivers as valuable assets that are vital to our health, safety and quality of life. Founded in 1973, American Rivers has more than 65,000 members and supporters nationwide, with offices in Washington, DC and the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, California and Northwest regions.