tagged w/ mountaintop removal
In a perplexing move The Environmental Protection Agency has recommended approval by the Army Corps of Engineers for a permit sought by an Arch Coal subsidiary, Coal-Mac. The permit tentatively approved is for Coal-Mac’s Logan county Surface Mine called Pine Creek.
Pine Creek surface mine is a 760 acre mine that the permit will allow to fill three valley fills, covering a 120 acre area and burying 2 miles of streams. Army Corps of Engineers is expected to quickly approve the Pine Creek Permit, per the EPA’S sign-off.
This unexpected move clearly shows that Lisa P. Jackson is going back on her word to protect waterways from the devastation of valley fills.
The new Mountaintop Removal Mining guidelines were supposed to provide protection for headwater streams by ending the practice of dumping waste, known as overburden, into neighboring valleys. The Pine Creek permit is the first test of these new guidelines which have clearly failed the people of Appalachia. Each of the purposed new valley fills by Arch Coal will be more than 40 acres each.
It was anticipated that these guidelines, by requiring mining operators to control levels of toxins in nearby streams, would significantly reduce the dumping of mining waste in valleys, which the EPA said was scientifically proven to contaminate drinking water and wreck ecosystems.
These are Lisa P. Jackson’s own words in April when she announced the new EPA guidelines: “We expect this guidance to change behaviors, to change actions, because if we keep doing what we have been doing, we’re going to see continued degradation of water quality… Minimizing the number of valley fills is a very, very key factor. You’re talking about no or very few valley fills that are going to be able to meet standards like this.”
The Pine Creek Surface Mine permit will allow Coal-Mac, a subsidiary of coal giant Arch coal, to mine through more than 2 miles of streams. These 2 miles of streams are already suffering from major degradation from surface mining runoff. Logan County has already been ravished by the environmental effects of Mountaintop Removal Mining. This new move by the EPA clearly shows that they cannot control the pollution and devastation caused by blasting away our mountain tops without abating Mountaintop Removal Mining completely.
The Pine Creek permit is currently awaiting approval from the Army Corps of Engineers. It has been given the green light, but is not yet set in stone. We must now lend our voices and tell both the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers not to approve the Pine Creek Permit. Make the call and let them know that the residents of Appalachia refuse to be held hostage by the coal industry. Appalachia and its natural resources must be protected. The waters and coal seams of Appalachia are the birthrights of its people and we must take them back.
Stand up for Appalachia make the call.
Lisa P. Jackson 1-202-564-4700
Army Corps of Engineers 1-202-761-0011
Our nation’s natural beauty is threatened by yet another fossil fuel giant but at least our lights will stay on…for now.Our nation’s natural beauty is threatened by yet another fossil fuel giant but... more
RICHMOND, VA- A couple of hundred people braved cold rain to light candles in memory of dozens of miners who have perished while working in mines owned by Massey Energy. The vigil was held the night before a Massey stockholders meeting on May 18.
Members of the United Mine Workers of America and other unions, relatives of the fallen and community members prayed for the dead and read the names of 52 workers who have died in the last ten years at Massey mines. In April of this year, 29 miners died at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, a mine that had been cited for more than 500 safety violations in the months leading up to the tragedy.
Speakers at the vigil called for accountability for those responsible at Massey Energy, especially CEO Don Blankenship, a notoriously anti-union executive. Protests the next day planned to call on stockholders to vote Blankenship out of office.RICHMOND, VA- A couple of hundred people braved cold rain to light candles in memory... more
We interrupt this meeting of Massey Energy’s Shareholders in order to spotlight and oppose Massey’s terrible safety, environmental and human rights violations. It is our responsibility to stand in firm opposition to Massey’s corporate behavior. We are willing to face the legal consequences of our non-violent action, for we know we are not alone; millions in Appalachia and across the nation are coming to see Massey for what it is. Whether it is the mountains of Appalachia, the lives of underground miners deep inside them, or the wellbeing of communities living below, Massey continually puts profits over people. It is time for the people of Appalachia and America to reject Massey and work together to create something better in its place.
“Violations are, unfortunately, a normal part of the mining process,” Don Blankenship, CEO of Massey, has stated. In 2008, Massey made a $20 million settlement with the EPA for 4,500 Clean Water Act violations filed between the year 2000 and 2006. Now, in 2010, they are back in court for polluting America’s waterways again; this time for 971 Clean Water Act violations in 2008 and 2009. A 2006 fire at Massey’s Aracoma mine killed two workers. Massey settled wrongful death lawsuits for an undisclosed sum and paid civil and criminal penalties of $4.2 million. It is clear that neither the EPA, criminal, nor civil fines, can sufficiently motivate Massey, or Blankenship, to adopt a culture of responsibility in their business practices.
When it comes to mountaintop removal and coal sludge, there is no responsible course but to ban them entirely. Mountaintop removal is the practice of demolishing Appalachian peaks, in order to scrape out their coal seams. It fills neighboring valleys and streams with the resultant rubble, and damages the health of nearby communities. Coal sludge is the liquid byproduct of washing coal in a carcinogenic chemical bath to remove impurities, such as heavy metals including arsenic, mercury, lead, and others. We call for the abolition of both.
These two practices meet at Massey’s Brushy Fork sludge impoundment on Coal River Mountain.
The Brushy Fork Coal Sludge Impoundment is the tallest earthen dam in the Western Hemisphere, permitted to hold 9 billion gallons of sludge. Massey’s “sunny day” casualty estimation is that if the dam were to break, the flood would kill 998 Coal River Valley residents.
Coal sludge impoundments have failed in the past. A Massey-operated sludge impoundment in Martin County, KY broke in 2000, spilling 306 million gallons of toxic sludge into the tributaries of the Tug Fork, Big Sandy, and Ohio Rivers, killing wildlife, and contaminating 27,000 people’s drinking water. Brushy Fork sits above a honeycomb of abandoned underground room and pillar mines in which 31 pillars are of insufficient strength to reliably support the mine roof, let alone the mass of 9 billion gallons of sludge. Brushy Fork could also break through bottom failure, causing sludge to gush from abandoned mine entrances into the surrounding, populated valleys.
The peril of Brushy Fork is compounded by Massey’s mountaintop removal operations on the Bee Tree Permit, which surrounds the impoundment. Each day, Massey blasts within hundreds of yards of the impoundment. Every mine blast sends high and low frequency vibrations into the mountain. High frequency vibrations are the visible blast, launching fly rock and dust, and dissipate over a short distance. Low frequency vibrations, however, cause structural damages, often foundation cracks, miles from the blast site. Brushy Fork’s earthen dam structure is within hundreds of yards of blasting operations. Thousands of lives are at risk.
Massey must be stopped—that is why we are putting ourselves on the line today.
Shareholders – you have the power to intervene. Use your institutional power to demand Massey cease its mountaintop removal operations and production of coal slurry. Responsibly decommission the Brushy Fork Impoundment. Also, we ask that you join with the coalition of nine public institutional investors that are asking Massey to withhold support from Don Blankenship and Board of Directors Baxter F. Philips, Richard M. Gabrys, and Dan R. Moore “because they have failed to carry out their duties on the Safety, Environmental, and Public Policy Committee.”
Americans – coal from the mountains of Appalachia is burned all over the United States. It heats our homes, powers our factories, and illuminates our schools and offices. It is sometimes difficult connect one’s energy consumption to a struggle hundreds of miles away, but we urge you to take responsibility for that power and stand in solidarity with the people of Appalachia. We know that not everyone is able to put themselves at risk, but we firmly believe that all Americans can–and must– stand up and say: Massey Energy, Stop Putting Profits Before People!
People of the Earth and Appalachia
http://itsgettinghotinhere.org/2010/05/18/2-arrested-disrupting-massey-shareholders-meeting/We interrupt this meeting of Massey Energy’s Shareholders in order to spotlight... more
A new testing method by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reveals that pollutants such as arsenic, antimony, chromium and selenium can leach from coal ash at levels dozens and sometimes hundreds of times greater than the federal drinking water standard. According to the EPA’s new data, pollution from coal ash can shatter the "hazardous waste" threshold.A new testing method by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reveals that... more
By Sarah Laskow, Media Consortium Blogger
Coal consumption has costs — this week’s explosion at a West Virginia mine, which killed 25, made that clear. Those costs aren’t limited to human lives, either. Massey Energy Co., the owner of the West Virginia mine, has not just racked up safety violations but also consistently disregarded the environmental effects of its work.
Black marks on Massey’s record
This week’s explosion is far from the first debacle associated with a Massey project, and past incidents have had disastrous impacts on the environment. In 2000, a break in a Massey-owned reservoir, filled with coal waste, caused more damage than the Exxon Valdez spill, Steve Benen writes at The Washington Monthly. Clara Bingham described the flood of sludge for the magazine in 2005:
“The gooey mixture of black water and coal tailings traveled downstream through Coldwater and Wolf creeks, and later through the river’s main stem, Tug Fork. Ten days later, an inky plume appeared in the Ohio River. On its 75-mile path of destruction, the sludge obliterated wildlife, killed 1.6 million fish, ransacked property, washed away roads and bridges, and contaminated the water systems of 27,623 people.”
A year later, another 30,000 gallons of sludge poured into a river in Madison, WV, “with nary a peep from Massey,” Kevin Connor points out at AlterNet.
The company routinely scorns environmental regulations, too, as Andy Kroll reports for Mother Jones:
“Between 2000 and 2006, Massey violated the Clean Water Act more than 4,500 times by dumping sediment and leftover mining waste into rivers in Kentucky and West Virginia, the EPA said in 2008. (Environmental groups say the EPA’s tally is a lowball figure; they estimate that the true number of violations is more than 12,000.) As a result of these breaches of the law, the company agreed to pay the EPA a $20 million settlement.”
It appears that prior spills have not chastened Massey, either. Brooke Jarvis at Yes! Magazine notes that the company stores 8.2 billion gallons of coal sludge in the same West Virginia county suffering from this week’s explosion, and that two months ago, “West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection issued a notice of violation because the dam failed to meet safety requirements.”
Don Blankenship, denier!
Massey’s owner, Don Blankenship, has as dark a record as his company on environmental issues. Blankenship believes in the “survival of the most productive,” Mike Lillis writes at The Washington Independent, which means that safety and environmental concerns come second. He “loves to slam ‘greeniacs’ for believing in things like climate change,” says Nick Baumann at Mother Jones. The Colorado Independent’s David O. Williams calls Blankenship “a notorious right-wing climate change denier and outspoken critic of the policies of ‘Obama bin Laden,’” and notes that Blankenship is on the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has tried its hardest to squelch any climate legislation eking through Congress.
Methane and mountaintop removal
Although Massey and Blankenship stand out for their scorn of the environment, all coal production extracts a cost. Accidents and violations like Massey’s can devastate forests and streams, but coal’s biggest environmental impact comes when it is burned and pours tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. As Yes! Magazine’s Jarvis puts it, “Coal may be cheap now, but that’s simply because we’re not counting—and don’t even know how to count—the long-term costs.”
The Obama administration has taken some steps towards limiting coal production. Last week the EPA announced restrictions that would limit mountaintop removal mining. But those regulations won’t ban the practice altogether. The Senate could, in theory, take up that task: Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) introduced a bill a year ago that would make mountaintop removal mining so expensive it would be economically infeasible, effectively banning the practice, Mike Lillis reports for The Washington Independent. Although the bill accrued a few more sponsors during 2009, mostly liberal Democrats like Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), it hasn’t attracted much attention and is still sitting in the Environment and Public Works Committee.
In the Mountain West, the Bureau of Land Management is opening up federal lands for coal mining and claiming it can’t require companies to flare off or capture methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, David O. Williams reports for The Colorado Independent. Without methane capture, the new mines would pour carbon pollution into the atmosphere. This BLM stance, Williams writes, has green advocates in Colorado “longingly reminiscing about the bygone days of the Bush administration,” which said it would require companies to manage methane.
This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about the environment by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Mulch for a complete list of articles on environmental issues, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, health care and immigration issues, check out The Audit, The Pulse, and The Diaspora. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.By Sarah Laskow, Media Consortium Blogger
Coal consumption has costs — this... more
by Zach Carter, Media Consortium blogger
Next week, the debate over financial reform will begin in earnest when Congress returns from its Easter break. Both political parties are gearing up for a major fight, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. An out-of-control banking sector has cost the economy over 7 million jobs since 2007, and without major reforms, Wall Street could repeat this disaster in just a few years’ time. But thanks to Wall Street’s lobbying might, all of the necessary reforms are currently in jeopardy.
Writing for The Nation, Christopher Hayes offers a useful primer on financial regulation, highlighting three reforms that are crucial to any bill.
* With no effective regulation of consumer protection issues for years, the existing banking regulators were more focused on preserving bank profitability than on going to bat for ordinary citizens. If banks could make big profits with unfair gimmicks (or even fraud), regulators usually looked the other way. The solution is a strong, independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) charged with nothing but protecting consumers from banker abuses, an agency with the broad authority to both write rules and enforce them.
* We need to rein in the $300 trillion market for derivatives, the complex financial contracts brought down AIG. Unlike ordinary stocks and bonds, derivatives are not traded on exchanges, so nobody really knows what is going on in this tremendous market. When something goes wrong, like with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, nobody can tell who the problem will effect. Without information, markets panic, and the entire financial system can collapse within a matter of days. Fortunately, this problem has a simple solution: require all derivatives to be traded on exchanges.
* Too-big-to-fail is too big to exist. The U.S. has never had banks as large as those that exist today, and their size gives them enormous political clout. It’s part of the reason why regulators didn’t make banks obey consumer protection laws, and why banks have been so effective in derailing reform. It’s been almost two years since the Big Crash, yet we are still wrangling over reform because giant banks deploy giant lobbying teams, and have almost unlimited resources to devote to their lobbying efforts. If we can’t scale back the banks’ power by breaking them up into smaller institutions, it’s unlikely that other reforms will be effective.
As Margaret Dorfman emphasizes for American Forum, a strong CFPA would help protect small businesses, since a huge proportion of them are financed with credit cards and home equity loans (Dorfman is CEO of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, an advocacy group for women that should not be confused with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—a nasty lobbying front for a few hundred high-flying executives). As Dorfman notes, small businesses are where most new jobs come from– if a regulator can ensure that these businesses are not pushed around by abusive banks, they can help repair our jobs.
Unfortunately, all three reforms are in real jeopardy as the bill moves to the Senate floor for a vote, as Simon Johnson notes in his Baseline Scenario blog carried at AlterNet. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) hasn’t included any language on breaking up the banks, he has significantly watered down the CFPA proposal President Obama put forward, and derivatives reform was almost entirely gutted in the House.
What’s at stake
So what’s at stake? For some perspective, consider last week’s jobs report. As Steve Benen notes for The Washington Monthly, the U.S. economy added 160,000 jobs in March, the first significant monthly gain since the start of the recession, and the best jobs report in three years. But while it’s good to see the economy actually adding jobs, at the March rate, it would take more than three-and-a-half years to win back the 7 million jobs lost since 2007.
This jobs disaster was not caused by faceless and unpreventable forces—it was the direct result of a reckless and unregulated banking system. Without major reforms, banks will always have this economic leverage when that recklessness overpowers them: bail us out, or watch your economy collapse.
This is an issue of basic democratic fairness, as Noam Chomsky explains for In These Times. Wall Street has purchased the right to bend public policy to anything that benefits banks—the rest of society is not their concern. The bailouts of 2008 and 2009 make that clear. After wrecking the economy to enrich themselves, bank executives then looted the public coffers with the threat of still further economic havoc.
And the political clout of America’s largest banks insulates them from criticism when they profit from abuses—particularly when those activities don’t spark wider economic crises. As Andy Kroll highlights for Mother Jones, J.P. Morgan Chase is currently making a killing by financing mountaintop removal mining (MTR). MTR is an ecological nightmare—literally a bombing campaign in which entire mountains in Appalachia are destroyed to make way for cheap coal. That’s meant billions in profits for J.P. Morgan, and an environmental catastrophe for the United States.
Obama and Congress have a choice. They can play financial reform for campaign contributions, pushing a watered-down bill that will function as a set of reforms-in-name-only. Alternatively, they can do their jobs, confront a dangerous financial oligarchy head-on, and help build an economy that works for everyone.
This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about the economy by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Audit for a complete list of articles on economic issues, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, environment, health care and immigration issues, check out The Mulch, The Pulse and The Diaspora. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.by Zach Carter, Media Consortium blogger
Next week, the debate over financial... more
The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed an unprecedented veto to restrict or prohibit mining at a major proposed US mountaintop removal coal mining site.The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed an unprecedented veto to restrict or... more
A follow up from "March Against Coal Madness: Live From Coal River"
Darryl Hannah: "Why would I fly across the country on my own dime knowing I would most likely end up in jail in one of the poorest parts of America?
Well, have you ever heard of MTR?
Don't feel bad, my friends are intelligent, well-read and informed people, but most of them had never heard of MTR (Mountain Top Removal) either.
So, I went to Coal River to help bring much needed attention to this hidden, criminal (but somehow legal) form of mining. I was honored to be joining an inspiringly brave group of concerned Americans, which included NASA climate scientist James Hansen who was among the first to sound the alarm on the climate crisis. The sharp, charismatic, 94 year old, former West Virginia U.S. Representative and Secretary of State Ken Hechler, who was the first congressman to introduce a Federal bill to abolish strip mining in 1971. (If passed the bill could have prevented this mess we find ourselves in.) And I was deeply moved to be arrested with those affected by MTR in Kentucky, and the many local residents fighting for their very lives, including a half dozen senior citizens, canes, walkers and all.
Mountain Top Removal is a devastatingly destructive form of mining and has already destroyed 2,000,000 acres in the Appalachian Mountains.
Coal companies have literally blown up over 500 mountain tops to access the coal seams and then dumped the refuse into the valleys below, killing over 3000 miles of headwater streams. The EPA just gave the go ahead for an additional 42 mountaintops to be blown off with another 6 permits pending.
Mountain Top Removal leaves behind a virtual hideous moonscape of devastated earth, billions of gallons of poisonous toxic sludge, and boarded up towns with dramatically high rates of cancer.
Don't get me wrong, I have great respect for, and am deeply indebted to the miners working in coalmines and on MTR projects who risk their lives daily to bring power to our country. I understand they feel threatened by anything that might take away their jobs. And, I don't want to see them lose more jobs, as 75% of mining jobs have already been lost to the machines and explosives of MTR.
While it takes fewer miners to remove coal with Mountain Top Removal, there are just as many dangers, accidents and fatalities! It is a cheaper way for the companies to mine and that's why it's becoming so pervasive."
continued at link above....A follow up from "March Against Coal Madness: Live From Coal River"... more
1. The King of Cock
3. Honduras Coup Plug
4. Mayan’s fight back against Goldcorp
5. The ELF strikes in Mexico
6. Jim Hansen’s Coal Theater
7. Uribe’s new boss
8. cOalbama’s clean energy plan
9. Really clean CO2 free transport
10. Emergency Broadcast Network
11. Nickelsville USAThis Week:
1. The King of Cock
3. Honduras Coup Plug
4. Mayan’s... more
In an attempt to further pressure EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to enforce the Clean Water Act and halt mountaintop removal coal mining (MTR), activists erected two 20-foot-tall, purple tripod structures in front of the agency's headquarters.
A pair of activists perched at the top of the tripods have strung a 25-foot sign in front of the EPA's door that reads, EPA: pledge to end mountaintop removal in 2010.
Six people are locked to the tripods and say they wont leave unless Administrator Jackson commits to a flyover visit of the Appalachian Mountains and MTR sites, which she has never done before.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vG1dkckxyIIn an attempt to further pressure EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to enforce the Clean... more
1. Your tax dollars at work… in Obamastan
2. A cum blast from the past
3. Future crimes today
4. The Winter Olympigs
5. Worldwide Resistance Report
7. Ward Churchill deconcstruct’s Obama’s Cairo speech1. Your tax dollars at work… in Obamastan
2. A cum blast from the past
A new study published in the journal Science says mountaintop mining should be banned. A team of 12 ecologists, hydrologists, and engineers say it causes vast and permanent destruction to the environment and exposes people to serious health consequences, including lung cancer, and chronic heart, lung and kidney disease, as well as birth defects. The article provides the most comprehensive analysis so far of the damage done by the controversial mining practice.A new study published in the journal Science says mountaintop mining should be banned.... more
Mountaintop removal must end.
To The Heroes in Coal River
We at Coalwar.com salute you. Your brave example of Leadership in Civil Disobedience has earned each of you the honor of Coal War Hero! You set an example for each of us in the struggle to bring a moratorium on coal mining, use, and production. Please accept this Sunday Morning Salute, our tribute to your service and bravery.
In your Honor, I dedicate this artwork to commemorate the Battle for Coal River, and the heroes past, present and future who stand their ground.To The Heroes in Coal River
We at Coalwar.com salute you. Your brave example of... more
A list of suspects that destroyed an ecosystem and poisoned their people.
Since at least 2002, the DEP has listed Dunkard Creek and several tributaries as "biologically impaired." At least two major coal discharges have consistently violated water quality limits -- sometimes discharging five or six times the legal standards -- for years.
West Virginia DNR search for remaining fish in Dunkard Creek turned up only one white sucker at a site in Mason-Dixon Historical Park.A list of suspects that destroyed an ecosystem and poisoned their people.
Since at... more
I just called and was told there have been several hundred other calls and that they are looking into legal ways to stop it. The person I spoke to didn't sound very enthused though. But please, call the number at the link and tell the EPA to intervene. It is the one way we can stop this once and for all!
Is the Earth worth one phone call?
Mountaintop removal blasting has begun on Coal River Mountain.
These operations are happening only a few hundred feet away from the Brushy Fork impoundment dam, which holds over 8.2 billion gallons of toxic coal sludge above Pettus, WV. If the dam bursts, nearly a thousand people in the Coal River Valley would likely lose their lives within minutes.
At the same time, Coal River Mountain is the proposed site of an industrial wind farm. Studies have shown that its ridges have the highest and most productive wind potential. The Coal River Wind Project has done research to demonstrate that a wind farm on top of the mountain could generate approximately 1.2% of West Virginia's total energy needs, create 300 jobs in the area, and generate a long-term tax revenue stream. Every day that blasting happens, the possibility for the wind farm diminishes.
The state of West Virginia refuses to do anything about this destruction. Please contact the EPA and ask them to intevene at Coal River Mountain.
Call Lisa Jackson's office at (202) 564-4700.I just called and was told there have been several hundred other calls and that they... more
The Environmental Protection Agency is serious: It really is taking on Big Coal in a big way.
Following up on word last month that it would delay action on 79 mountaintop coal mining projects (EPA Takes on the Coal Industry), the agency on Friday moved to halt the Clean Water Act permit for the nation’s largest proposed mountaintop removal coal mining site, the Spruce No. 1 Mine in Logan County, West Virginia.
EPA letters to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and mine owner Arch Coal say it “has reason to believe” that the Spruce No. 1 mine, as currently authorized, “may result in unacceptable adverse impacts to fish and wildlife resources.”
It will issue a proposed determination to “restrict or prohibit the discharge of dredged and/or fill material at the Spruce No. Mine project” under the provisions of the Clean Water Act and specifically its Section 404(c).
The provision, never exercised until now, gives EPA the authority to “prohibit, deny or restrict” the use of any defined area for specification as a disposal site. If the determination is finalized the Spruce mine is kaput.
EPA says that while the Spruce No. 1 permit contains some provisions that address concerns about the environmental and water quality impacts on the surrounding region’s watershed, “further modifications to the permit are necessary if the project is to meet fully the requirements of the Clean Water Act” and agency regulations.
While that wording might appear to give Arch some room to fix its permit and wriggle out of an adverse determination, EPA’s unusual and precedent-setting move will require some deft and difficult wriggling.
For example the EPA states that specific to the Spruce project, the Little Coal River watershed has 98 miles of impaired streams, representing 33 percent of the watershed. Meanwhile the Coal River sub-basin has 743 miles of impaired streams, or about 30 percent of the sub-basin.
The Spruce No. 1 Mine “represents the largest authorized mountaintop removal operation in Appalachia and occurs in a watershed where many streams have been impacted by previous mining activities,” EPA explains. While the project has been modified to reduce project impacts, EPA continues that it will “still bury more than seven miles of streams.” And there is the potential for additional discharges to cause further stream degradation.
“We are shocked that the EPA would take such an action in light of the strong support for the Spruce permit voiced by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection,” says a statement from Arch Coal and its Mingo Logan Coal Company subsidiary.
Arch calls Spruce No. 1 the “most carefully scrutinized and fully considered mine permit” in West Virginia’s history, adding that the permit was “legally issued in 2007” with the intimate involvement of the EPA. That makes the EPA’s recent action “even more difficult to understand,” Arch says.The Environmental Protection Agency is serious: It really is taking on Big Coal in a... more
First up, LA beaches are toxic. Which isn’t surprising given our storm water assessment fees haven’t been raised since Pamela Anderson first appeared on Baywatch. With the Mayor’s Office dragging its heels (verrucas perhaps?), we encourage individuals to take responsibility for their own actions.
Next, we investigate what’s missing from the Appalachian Mountains. Hint: it’s not Mark Sanford. Seriously, because of Mountaintop Removal (MTR), large swathes of the Appalachias is unable to support life and is causing residents to become very ill. Help support non-profits take the coal companies and banks to task.
Finally, font otakus rejoice. Inspired by a local cheese, Dutch creative agency has come up with a stylish new font that saves the planet by saving ink. Best of all, the ingenious eco-font also saves you money. Brilliant.First up, LA beaches are toxic. Which isn’t surprising given our storm water... more
There is an important nexus between water and global warming. The very energy sources that emit greenhouse gases or cause deadly pollution, also damage our water, our ecosystems and all the life on earth that depends on water.There is an important nexus between water and global warming. The very energy sources... more