Front Porch Blog

Army Corps Issues EPA Backed Pine Creek Permit

In June, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signaled its approval of Arch Coal subsidiary Coal-Mac’s Pine Creek surface mine in Logan County, WV. Yesterday, the agency announced that the US Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) had issued its final Clean Water Act permit for the mountaintop removal mine.

In other words…

They are still blowing up our mountains, and we still need a law.

This permit was issued despite…

EPA’s new guidance for mountaintop removal operations and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s proclamation that “No or very few valley fills…are going to meet standards like this.”
– The fact that the mine could create three new valley fills (each over 40 acres).
– The fact that the site will impact over two MILES of already suffering headwater streams.
– The fact that local communities are already contending with increased flooding due to strip mining in the area (a problem additional sites will exacerbate).
– The fact that deforestation on site will continue to dismantle an important global carbon sink, while the mine itself will produce over 14 million tons of coal – which when burned in power plants – will contribute over 40 million tonnes of carbon dioxide greenhouse gas pollution to our planet’s atmosphere.

We can end mountaintop removal in 2010. Ask your Congressman to support two bipartisan bills aimed at sharply curtailing mountaintop removal: the Clean Water Protection Act (HR 1310) in the House and the Appalachia Restoration Act (S 696) in the Senate. The health and heritage of Appalachia is at stake and a “few valley fills” is a few too many.

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