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U.S. Vows Tighter Controls Over Mountaintop Mining In Appalachia


The Obama administration will impose tougher controls over the controversial practice of mountaintop coal mining, the environmentally damaging practice of shearing off the tops of mountains in Appalachia to exploit the coal below. Administration officials vowed to take several steps to limit environmental damage from mountaintop removal, including ending fast-track permitting of projects, closing loopholes that allow coal companies to dump waste rock into streams, and reasserting federal oversight over lax state reviews. An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study estimated that by 2012, mountaintop removal projects will have destroyed or seriously damaged an area larger than Delaware and buried more than 1,000 miles of mountain streams in mining debris. The White House said that the EPA, the Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will work together to more closely monitor mountaintop removal projects, but officials offered few specifics about how the new guidelines would work in practice. A recent EPA review allowed 42 of 48 mountaintop removal projects to proceed, prompting some environmental groups to accuse the administration of continuing the lax standards of the Bush administration.

Read more on mountaintop removal in our archive:

Picturing an End for Mountaintop Removal

EPA Stops Coal Companies From Destroying Hundreds of Mountaintops and Streams With High Explosives

This piece originally appeared in Yale Environment 360.

Photo credit: Flickr/Robert S. Donovan, Creative Commons License.

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Comments

This is simply not true. This article is Public Relations.
The Obama administration recently approved 45 permits for this type of Strip Mining. 45! That equals approximately 100,000 surface acres and even more cubic acres. Tons of waste dumped in the surrounding streams and rivers.

In addition to that, Obama / DHS have now literally Censored congressional debate on the locations of Coal Ash Spills across the country, such as the one in Kingston, TN (which is not secret, yet).
Here is the article:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/12/coal-ash-spills-too-dange_n_214739.html
http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/stock-market-news-story.aspx?storyid=200906121822dowjonesdjonline000803&title=epa44-coal-ash-sites-pose-hazard;sen-boxer-seeks-disclosure
And here is the 400 acre TVA Kingston TN Coal Ash Spill in pictures: http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/the-tennessee-coal-ash-spill-in-pictures/

Hey I voted for the man too! Worked on the campaign etc, gave money. Now it appears he is Completely Coal? What?
Yes, Obama seems to be going completely Clean Coal!
That dog just won't hunt.

Thank you,
Editilla~New Orleans Ladder


Posted by: New Orleans Ladder on 13 Jun 09

Yale environment 360 is letting Obama off the hook and Obama is a big disappointment to me, on this issue, the war in Afgahanistan, and the list goes on. Change$$$ we can believe in, right.


Posted by: Chris Pratt on 15 Jun 09

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