Front Porch Blog

With the Science “IN,” (again) Mountaintop Removers Turn to the Courts

A little over a week ago, our nihilistic friends at the National Mining Association stated:

There is no scientific or statutory basis for the numerical standards [regarding mountaintop removal] that EPA is now foisting on states.

Fortunately for us AND for them, the scientific basis is now here (woohoo!), and we look forward to a correction of their position. Recently, the EPA’s Science Advisory Board confirmed what everyone not working at NMA headquarters or running for office has long known: MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL IS BAD. The Science Advisory Board also confirmed that the use of a conductivity standard is an appropriate way to measure the aquatic impacts of mountaintop removal.

There! The science is in! We can now mine coal without destroying our mountains and watersheds! Those in charge are finally…wait huh?!?!?!

Are you telling me that those wishing to protect Don Blankenship’s performance bonus have chosen to shoot the climate bill on TV (like, with guns) and then are sueing the EPA?! OH NO!!

While it may be a good Blankenship-approved election year stunt for the politicians, the people of Appalachia continue to suffer. EPA responded to the lawsuit thusly:

Despite many efforts by EPA, state officials have not engaged in a meaningful discussion of sustainable mining practices that will create jobs while protecting the waters that Appalachian communities depend on for drinking, swimming and fishing. Earlier this year, at the request of the State, EPA issued clear guidance that ensures permits are reviewed using the best science available to protect residents from the significant and irreversible damage this practice can have on communities and their water sources. That science was just recently reaffirmed in a draft report by an independent panel of scientists.

EPA continues to be willing work with industry to reach common sense agreements allowing them to mine coal while avoiding permanent environmental impacts and protecting water quality. The EPA’s number one priority is to protect the health of all Americans and the guidance allows the people of West Virginia and other states to have both a healthy environment and a healthy economy.





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