Groups seek EPA rule to limit mining pollution

May 7, 2013 by Ken Ward Jr.

This just in from Earthjustice:

Yesterday afternoon, a coalition of Appalachian and national groups pressed the Environmental Protection Agency for stronger protection for their waters from the most extreme form of coal mining, mountaintop removal …

In a formal petition for rulemaking, 17 Appalachian local, regional, and national groups are petitioning the EPA to set a numeric water quality standard under the Clean Water Act to protect streams in Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Ohio, and Pennsylvania from pollution caused by mountaintop removal mining. This petition is backed by robust scientific studies that demonstrate that the dumping of mountaintop removal mining waste leads to harmful levels of conductivity – the ability of a waterway to conduct an electric current. Elevated conductivity is toxic to aquatic life, and studies show it is having an extreme ecological effect on Appalachian waters and streams.

The following groups joined the petition: Earthjustice, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, Kentucky Waterways Alliance, Coal River Mountain Watch, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Appalachian Voices, Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment, Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, Tennessee Clean Water Network, Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club, Appalachian Mountain Advocates, Public Justice, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation, West Virginia Rivers Coalition.

You can read the rulemaking petition here.

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