Exerting its authority under the Clean Water Act, EPA notified the lead federal permitting agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, yesterday that it planned to review permitting for two coal mining operations in West Virginia and Kentucky.
In a statement, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said her agency "will use the best science and follow the letter of the law in ensuring we are protecting our environment."
EPA plans to assess the Central Appalachia Mining's Big Branch project in Pike County, Ky., and the Highland Mining Company's Reylas mine in Logan County, W.Va.
Mountaintop mining involves the removal of summit ridges to expose coal seams and the dumping of debris into valleys, a practice EPA says is likely to pollute water and severely damage or destroy streams.
EPA said it found the companies' plans for mitigating environmental damage in the two projects inadequate. The agency said it would meet with representatives of the Army Corps and the mining companies to discuss additional protective measures.
Imagine the Environmental Protection Agency actually protecting the environment!
The recession has taken over the news coverage to such an extent that it's easy to walk by all these other good news. But they do matter, especially because they are trying to reverse some of the damage done during the eight Bush years.
Now, if we only could regulate the financial markets....