Inside Appalachian Voices

Spurring Civic Involvement for Clean Water, Mine Reclamation

Date: August 10, 2016

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If you’re on our email list, you know that in late July, several federal agencies held public comment periods regarding critical clean water and coal mining issues. Appalachian Voices submitted comments and called on mountain lovers to add their voices.

We urged the Department of the Interior to end the practice of self-bonding, which allows some coal companies to act as their own guarantor for the costs of mine reclamation instead of posting a bond or purchasing insurance. Taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook to clean up abandoned mines if a self-bonded company goes bankrupt.

We also submitted comments in support of the EPA’s proposed updates to the permits that regulate water pollution from coal mines and power plants. Among other provisions, the changes would allow the EPA to step in when states fail to re-issue updated permits.

The Army Corps of Engineers is also renewing the nationwide permit that allows coal mining fill to be put in public waterways. This blanket permit applies to many mines across the country. We urged the Corps to strengthen the permit to better protect rivers and streams from destructive surface coal mining.

These comment periods are now closed, but to receive future email action alerts, sign up at appvoices.org/stay-in-touch

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