March 29, 2010

Citing irreversible damage, EPA moves to veto Mountain Top Mining Permit

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced its proposal under the Clean Water Act to significantly restrict or prohibit mountain top mining at the Spruce No. 1 surface mine in Logan County, W. Va. Spruce No.1 mine is one of the largest mountaintop removal operations ever proposed in Central Appalachia. The project was permitted in 2007 and subsequently delayed by litigation. The Spruce No. 1 mine would bury over 7 miles of headwater streams, directly impact 2,278 acres of forestland and degrade water quality in streams adjacent to the mine. 

"... we must prevent the significant and irreversible damage that comes from mining pollution -- and the damage from this project would be irreversible," said EPA Regional Administrator for the Mid-Atlantic, Shawn Garvin. "This recommendation is consistent with our broader Clean Water Act efforts in Central Appalachia. EPA has a duty under the law to protect water quality and safeguard the people who rely on these waters for drinking, fishing and swimming."

The EPA will be accepting comments on their proposed veto for the next 60 days. Although this veto will be finalized after a sixty-day comment period, many other projects continue

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No EPA-R03-OW-2009-0985, by one of the following methods:
  1. Federal eRulemaking Portal (recommended method of comment submission): Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Note: There will be a lag time before the Federal Register Notice is published. Until it is, you will not be able to submit comments this way.
  2. E-mail: Include the docket number, EPA-R03-OW-2009-0985, in the subject line of the message.
  3. Mail:
    ''EPA-R03-OW-2009-0985, Spruce No. 1 Surface Mine'' 
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    EPA Docket Center Water Docket, Mail Code 28221T
    1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20460
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