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Just as EPA doesn’t like getting dumped on, neither do West Virginians …

September 13th, 2010 · 1 Comment

Earlier today, Rainforest Action Network (RAN)paid a visit to EPA headquarters in Washington, DC, and brought along a gift: a truckload of Appalachian dirt and rubble .  As per the photo, the message was simple:

EPA: don’t let King Coal dump on Appalachia.

This, of course, is referring to the damage in the ongoing War on Appalachia politely called “mountain-top removal” and the “fill” from these operations that are dumped in Appalachia’s valleys and streams with devastating impacts for the ecosystems and dangerous implications on human health.

The RAN activists dumped 1000 lbs of ‘fill’ to pressure the EPA to stand with science and veto the 2,278 acre Spruce Mountain MTR project in West Virginia.  EPA has, to date, been strongly indicating an intention to deny the Spruce Mountain permit. From nearly a year ago,

EPA is taking this action because it is concerned about the magnitude, scale, and severity of the direct, indirect, and cumulative adverse environmental and water quality impacts associated with this project . The Spruce Mine as currently configured would bury more than seven miles of streams.

As per this spring,

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said today it plans to significantly restrict or prohibit mountaintop mining at the Arch Coal’s Spruce No. 1 surface mine in Logan County.

EPA said it made its decision after extended discussions with the company “failed to produce an agreement that would lead to a significant decrease of the environmental and health impacts of the Spruce No. 1 mine.”

The EPA decision sparked complaints and criticism from Arch Coal and coal-state politicians.

Now, the Obama Administration recently delayed an announcement about Spruce Mountain. Some in the environmental community are, perhaps with reason, concern that mounting pressure from fossil-foolish (coal) interests and politicians could impact Administration decision-making during the election season.   Thus, RAN seeks to bring visibility to the issue and keep the heat on for a scientifically sound decision rather than a caving in to those willing to sacrifice tomorrow for the profits of burning polluting coal today.

The irony is too sweet (or, well, too painful). The RAN activists seeking to head off the dumping of 1000s of tons of material into Appalachia’s valleys and streams were, unlike those doing the permanent damage to the most diverse ecosystems in the continental United States, arrested:

@RAN activists detained at #EPA for “illegal dumping.” Meanwhile coal industry dumps in Appalachia’s drinking water everyday. #mtr #coal

To take action: RAN call form on Spruce Mountain.

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Tags: coal

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