US environmental agency revokes mine’s permit for mountaintop removal

From the gaurdian.co.uk:

In a historic decision, the Obama administration has vetoed one of the largest coal projects every. The permit that allowed Spruce Number One mine in West Virginia to perform one of the most destructive practices, mountaintop removal mining, has been revoked by the Environmental Protection Agency. Had it gone through, nearly 2,200 acres of mountain top land would have been removed and caused terrible damage to the surrounding streams and valleys. This is the first time the EPA has revoked an issued permit in nearly 40 years.

The decision was immediately criticised by West Virginia leaders and mining lobby, and sets the stage for a broader confrontation between the EPA and the empowered Republicans in Congress over the limits of government regulation.

In its decision, the EPA said the project would have dumped millions of tons of mining waste into healthy waterways, burying 6.6 miles of streams and completely killing off fish, salamanders and other wildlife that live in them. Mining waste dumped in the rivers would also compromise water quality for locals, the EPA said.

“The proposed Spruce Number One mine would use destructive and unsustainable mining practices that jeopardise the health of Appalachian communities and clean water on which they depend,” the agency’s assistant administrator for water Peter Silva said in a statement. “We have a responsibility under the law to protect water quality and safeguard the people who rely on clean water.”

Coal mining in Welch, West Virginia
 

Read full article here.

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