EPA responds to Gov. Manchin’s lawsuit

October 6, 2010 by Ken Ward Jr.

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.

6 Responses to “EPA responds to Gov. Manchin’s lawsuit”

  1. Vernon says:

    I’m glad to see that the EPA’s number one priority is to protect the health of all Americans. I wish that Manchin’s priority would be to protect the health of West Virginians, but he has repeatedly demonstrated that it is not.

  2. Monty says:

    What really, really upsets me is the stupendous waste of tax dollars this is – we have an attorney general, right? Why do we have to waste the tax money on a hired gun to file a doomed-from-the-start legal action? Oh, wait, I forgot, it’s an election year, and our governor is running for the US Senate. And he may be trailing in the polls with less than a month to go. But it’s good to know whose interests he really has close to his heart – the coal industry’s.

  3. Bo Webb says:

    The EPA is doing the job they are mandated to do. Not once in this struggle to end MTR have I heard one agency say the obvious the EPA has just stated. “The EPA’s number one priority is to protect the health of all Americans” Hats off to the EPA for standing for all Americans, including us little people living beneath these toxic mtr operations. Protecting all American’s is also the mandate of the President of the United States and the US Justice Dept, and the FBI, and Homeland Security. It seems to me that one of these could step in and put those that cause harm to the health of some of us all Americans in jail.

  4. Allen Johnson says:

    Governor Manchin’s number one priority is to protect the health of the coal industry’s profits. No, actually that is his second priority. His first priority is to advance his political ambitions. And Manchin thinks the way to do this is to outdo Raese on licking King Coals boots.

    For Manchin to sue the EPA is to pour contempt on the health of people, the integrity of the ecosystem, and on future generations. It is to disregard science.

    On another note, does anyone know how to find out how much it will cost to hire Ben Bailey and his legal team through this lawsuit?

  5. Chip Blankenship says:

    Don Blankenship and Gene Kitts say coal will make America energy independent, then sell that coal to China so that communist nation can make steel to sell to America, which looses more steel jobs to China every year.

    Randall Maggard says the EPA is going to kill coal jobs in West Virginia, then hires migrant Mexican workers (non-U.S. citizens) to plant trees on mine reclamation sites, because, he says, West Virginians won’t work for the price he’s willing to pay.

    Neither John Raese nor Joe Manchin have a new vision for the future of the citizens of West Virginia, just personal ambitions and greed.

    Manchin, running for Senator Byrd’s seat, skipped out on a debate with contenders Raese and Jesse Johnson in order to accept financial aid from coal industry executives who have gotten rich off giving jobs away to foreign companies.

    After accepting this tainted money, he took my tax dollars (and committed more) to hire a private law firm to sue the federal government.

    I’m angry, and every West Virginia tax payer ought to be. Joseph has committed a flagrant violation of sound financial policy and public trust.

    At least Johnson has a new vision for the state of West Virginia. There’s no contest here fellow citizens.

  6. bogie son says:

    All this save our mountains is fine with me but think about our children their father with no job no shoes no food no christmas just like my grand father told me about thanks for nothin

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