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Tennessee group part of effort to end mountaintop coal mining

Tennessee group part of effort to end mountaintop coal mining

By BILL THEOBALD
Tennessean Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — The Tennessee-based Save Our Cumberland Mountains is among several environmental groups and coalfield residents lobbying Congress this week for legislation intended to protect water quality while ending the practice of mountaintop removal coal mining.

The Clear Water Protection Act, H.R. 2169, was introduced earlier this month and Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Nashville, is among 67 co-sponsors. It has been referred to the House Transportation Committee.

The environmental groups said mountaintop coal mining has buried 1,000 miles of streams and headwaters in central and southern Appalachia.

They claim the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the federal Environmental Protection Agency created a loophole in 2002 allowing mining operators to dump their waste, filling streams, lakes and wetlands.

Contact Bill Theobald at {encode=”wtheobal@gns.gannett.com” title=”wtheobal@gns.gannett.com”}

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