Coal Tattoo

EPA responds to Gov. Manchin’s lawsuit

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Ben Bailey, hired by the state of West Virginia to file a lawsuit that challenges the Obama administration’s efforts to curb mountaintop removal coal mining, speaks as West Va Gov. Joe Manchin, right, listens at the Capitol in Charleston, W.Va., Wednesday Oct. 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Charleston Daily Mail, Tom Hindman)

Updated: Gov. Joe Manchin’s lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s crackdown on mountaintop removal has just been filed in federal court here in Charleston. I’ve posted a copy of it here.

We’re still waiting for West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin’s lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s crackdown on mountaintop removal coal mining to be filed and made public.

You can read our updated story on this morning’s press conference here.

But we now have some response in from EPA. Here it is:

Despite many efforts by EPA, state officials have not engaged in a meaningful discussion of sustainable mining practices that will create jobs while protecting the waters that Appalachian communities depend on for drinking, swimming and fishing. Earlier this year, at the request of the State, EPA issued clear guidance that ensures permits are reviewed using the best science available to protect residents from the significant and irreversible damage this practice can have on communities and their water sources. That science was just recently reaffirmed in a draft report by an independent panel of scientists.

EPA continues to be willing work with industry to reach common sense agreements allowing them to mine coal while avoiding permanent environmental impacts and protecting water quality. The EPA’s number one priority is to protect the health of all Americans and the guidance allows the people of West Virginia and other states to have both a healthy environment and a healthy economy.