The following statement is from Earthjustice senior legislative counsel Joan Mulhern on today’s introduction of new legislation that would prohibit the dumping of surface coal mining waste into streams, rivers and wetlands, effectively ending the destructive and devastating practice of creating enormous “valley fills” out of the waste generated by mountaintop removal mining.
“Senators Lamar Alexander and Benjamin Cardin took a major step today towards finally ending the practice of mountaintop removal mining. If passed, their Appalachia Restoration Act will protect thousands of miles of Appalachian headwaters, streams and rivers. Earthjustice applauds their leadership in the ongoing fight to stop mountaintop removal mining, a practice that has already destroyed more than 1000 miles of streams in Appalachia and devastated coalfield communities and their mountains.
“We look forward to working with Senators Alexander and Cardin and members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to end the practice of dumping coal mining wastes into waters of the U.S., and to end the dumping of other industrial wastes into the nation’s waters, many of which would still be prohibited today if not for the Bush administration’s actions to encourage industries to dump their solid wastes into waters. Nothing is more contrary to the Clean Water Act.”