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EPA Regional Recommends All 79 Mountaintop Removal Permits for Further Review

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

After a 14-day initial review period, the Environmental Protection Agency’s regional offices followed the lead of EPA headquarters, recommending that all 79 pending mountaintop removal mining valley fill permits be remanded into a full 60-day extended review process. The extended review will closely examine potential environmental and health impacts of the valley fills on headwater streams and watersheds, and is part of the EPA’s promise of a more stringent review process for overseeing mountaintop removal coal mining. During the previous presidential administration, a change to the “fill rule” in the Clean Water Act allowed permits for mountaintop removal valley fills to be rubberstamped without conducting any environmental or health impact assessments.

Appalachian Voices, a regional environmental group and one of the partners of I Love, made a statement to the press following the announcement.

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Appalachian Voices  •  Coal River Mountain Watch  •   Heartwood  •  Keeper of the MountainsKentuckians for the Commonwealth 

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition  •   Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowermentSierra Club Environmental Justice

Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards  •   SouthWings  •  Stay Project  •   West Virginia Highlands Conservancy

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