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Via Treehugger: EPA to Regulate Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining More Stringently

June 12, 2009

In case you missed it, for the past couple of months a public squabble has been going on between the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers over permitting of mountaintop removal coal mining projects. The EPA’s stance being that the Corps all too often hasn’t done it’s job in protecting water quality. Which it hasn’t and hasn’t for some time, at least since the administration of Bush II. Well, the EPA, the Dept of Interior and the Corps have kissed and made up, today issuing a Memorandum of Understanding on the issue:

What’s That About Purple Mountains Majesty?
The MOU opens by waxing poetic about the role of Appalachia’s streams and forests in providing sustenance for generations of Americans, and in providing coal-fired heat and electricity. But since we’ve already used up all the easily accessible coal and can’t seem to kick the high-power habit, we’ve got to resort to more intrusive methods to get our fix. And those methods lead to destruction of mountains, spoilage of ecosystems, ruination of streams and wetlands, and devastation of drinking water. Not to mention the ill health effects on people living in the region. So we have to do something about it.

In case you can’t guess, I’m paraphrasing. And while you’d think any addict who has admitted their problem (as the US has done in regards to energy sources at least, if not quantities) would put themselves on some sort of reduction program. At minimum not flaming up the hard stuff. But no, that’s not what’s happening. Mountaintop removal coal mining will continue, it’ll just get a bit more oversight.

Read the rest: TreeHugger

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