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EPA science on mountaintop removal impacts reaffirmed

Melissa Waage

Posted September 30, 2010 in Health and the Environment

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Another nail in the coffin for mountaintop removal mining: an independent Science Advisory Board has reaffirmed EPA's findings about the disastrous effects of MTR on streams.

As you might remember, EPA recently announced it will set new water quality standards to guide the process for permitting mountaintop removal mining valley fills, in which mine waste runs off and is dumped into streams.  The new standards will be based on the conductivity of the water--a measure of the amount of toxic mining waste polluting a stream.  Faced with this very real measure of its impacts, MTR could be greatly curtailed under the conductivity guidance.  

At the time, EPA Administrator LIsa Jackson said, "The people of Appalachia shouldn't have to choose between a clean, healthy environment in which to raise their families and the jobs they need to support them."

Today that goal is a little closer.  The Science Advisory Board's draft review of the new water quality standards fully affirms the science behind the new EPA proposal, the agency announced today--another important step towards ensuring that the best science guides the permitting process with such high stakes for Appalachian communities.

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Comments

Rodney EvansOct 1 2010 04:05 PM

Hopefully, this is the end of the "trash the Earth for resources" mentality that has ruled in previous generations.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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