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A Major Victory – Thank the Obama Administration

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

The following email was sent to the 34,000+ supporters of To sign up to receive free email alerts, click here.

We’ve got great news to report!

This afternoon, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it was suspend and review permits for two mountaintop removal coal mining operations — and putting hundreds more mountaintop coal-mining permits on hold until it can evaluate their impact on our nation’s streams and wetlands.

This is a major victory for our movement. And make no mistake, it is a result of your efforts to raise the alarm about the devastating effects of mountaintop removal coal mining to our mountains, our waters, and our communities.

CBS News has the details:

The decision was announced Tuesday by EPA administrator Lisa Jackson….

It could delay 150-250 permits being sought by companies wanting to begin blasting mountaintops to access coal.

Those permits are issued by the Army Corps of Engineers, an agency that has been criticized by environmental groups. The Corps has been sued for failing to thoroughly evaluate the environmental impact of mountaintop removal, during which forests are clear-cut and mountaintops are blasted apart to expose coal seams; the rock and dirt left behind is dumped into adjacent valleys, affecting the course and health of waterways.

In a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers denying the two permits, the EPA wrote:

[T]hat the coal mines would likely cause water quality problems in streams below the mines, would cause significant degradation to streams buried by mining activities, and that proposed steps to offset these impacts are inadequate. EPA has recommended specific actions be taken to further avoid and reduce these harmful impacts and to improve mitigation.

In other words, filling valleys with mountaintop removal coal waste and healthy ecosystems don’t mix.

The EPA’s decision is a powerful statement for good science and common sense, and it’s an amazing first step towards ending mountaintop removal and creating a new, green and just economy in Appalachia.

This is a big victory for our effort to end mountaintop removal coal mining — but here’s what you can do to make it just the first of many victories to come:

  1. Call the White House and thank the administration for using sound science and common sense to put a hold on the permitting process. You can call the White House at 202-456-1111 or click here to be connected.

  2. Help make the EPA’s decision permanent by telling Congress to pass the Clean Water Protection Act, which would outlaw the valley fills that the permitting process seeks to allow.

  3. Spread the word about the disastrous effects of mountaintop removal coal mining by inviting your friends and family to join you at

Thank you for everything you do!

Matt Wasson

4 Responses to “A Major Victory – Thank the Obama Administration”

  1. Patrick James Says:

    Rock on! Now we must strengthen our efforts with more letters, visits to congressional offices, and phone calls. My calls to go not only to the DC offices but also to the local offices in an attempt to educate the staffer who has know clue what MTR is about. Maybe it’ll at least get them to ask another worker what it is all about, when I leave a message or share my thoughts. Let’s Keep it moving!

  2. Kristopher Barney Says:

    This is a bold move by the Obama Administration and goes to show that when pressured there will be some good change happening on the behalf of those working on behalf of protecting this part of my homeland. I attended the week in Washington lobbying efforts this past March 14-18th and I got to meet and talk to people affected by MTR and it was inspiring to be involved in this victory.

    Keep up the good work all of you in Appalachia and beyond.

    Kristopher Barney
    Rough Rock/Black Mesa
    Dine’ Bikeyah

  3. Lorien MacAuley Says:

    Hooray! Let’s keep on with the good fight! At least we have support from up above – now it’s time to relentlessly pursue victory, and deliver a final drop-kick to the coal companies who blast apart our mountains and poison our valleys! Truth will out! …from West Virginia coal country…

  4. Carol Lloyd Says:

    What companies are involved in this type of coal mining
    Carol Lloyd
    Lake Wales Fl

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