Hooray for Appalachia!
Today, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced guidelines to prevent continuing harmful environmental impacts as a result of mountaintop removal mining. This is a second win for environmentalists who cheered EPA’s announcement last week to veto an Army Corps of Engineers permit for the Spruce No. 1 mine in West Virginia, the largest mountaintop removal mine ever authorized in Appalachia.
These recent EPA actions come on the basis of scientific studies that have determined that the resulting waste from mountaintop removal mining significantly compromises water quality often causing permanent damage to ecosystems and waterways.
During a media call today, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said:
One point I have emphasized is EPA’s responsibility under the Clean Water Act and we are unequivocally committed to fulfilling that responsibility with regard to mountaintop mining.
Administrator Jackson went on to reference several studies examining the environmental impacts of mountaintop removal projects.
Let me add that although our studies are focused on the environmental impacts of surface coal mining we are deeply concerned about the emerging evidence of the potential health impacts. This is an area that deserves more analysis.