March 24th, 2009 – The following email was sent to the 34,000+ supporters of iLoveMountains.org. To sign up to receive free email alerts, click here.
We’ve got great news to report!
This afternoon, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it was suspend and review permits for two mountaintop removal coal mining operations — and putting hundreds more mountaintop coal-mining permits on hold until it can evaluate their impact on our nation’s streams and wetlands.
This is a major victory for our movement. And make no mistake, it is a result of your efforts to raise the alarm about the devastating effects of mountaintop removal coal mining to our mountains, our waters, and our communities.
CBS News has the details:
The decision was announced Tuesday by EPA administrator Lisa Jackson….
It could delay 150-250 permits being sought by companies wanting to begin blasting mountaintops to access coal.
Those permits are issued by the Army Corps of Engineers, an agency that has been criticized by environmental groups. The Corps has been sued for failing to thoroughly evaluate the environmental impact of mountaintop removal, during which forests are clear-cut and mountaintops are blasted apart to expose coal seams; the rock and dirt left behind is dumped into adjacent valleys, affecting the course and health of waterways.
In a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers denying the two permits, the EPA wrote:
[T]hat the coal mines would likely cause water quality problems in streams below the mines, would cause significant degradation to streams buried by mining activities, and that proposed steps to offset these impacts are inadequate. EPA has recommended specific actions be taken to further avoid and reduce these harmful impacts and to improve mitigation.
In other words, filling valleys with mountaintop removal coal waste and healthy ecosystems don’t mix.
The EPA’s decision is a powerful statement for good science and common sense, and it’s an amazing first step towards ending mountaintop removal and creating a new, green and just economy in Appalachia.
This is a big victory for our effort to end mountaintop removal coal mining — but here’s what you can do to make it just the first of many victories to come:
- Call the White House and thank the administration for using sound science and common sense to put a hold on the permitting process. You can call the White House at 202-456-1111 or click here to be connected.
- Help make the EPA’s decision permanent by telling Congress to pass the Clean Water Protection Act, which would outlaw the valley fills that the permitting process seeks to allow.
- Spread the word about the disastrous effects of mountaintop removal coal mining by inviting your friends and family to join you at iLoveMountains.org.
Thank you for everything you do!