It’s important that we get a good crowd out to show support for the Army Corps’ decision to stop issuing rubber stamp permits called “Nationwide Permits” — and to let them know that a lot more is needed to protect our communities from the devastating impacts of mountaintop removal.
Before a company can start a removing a mountain and dumping it into nearby valleys, there is supposed to be a rigorous permitting process to ensure that they will use good science, operate within the law and not harm nearby communities. Unfortunately, about one-third of mountaintop removal coal mining projects are approved under “nationwide permits.” These permits are designed for projects with “minimal impact” –but burying miles of streams under millions of tons of rubble is hardly “minimal impact.” During the Bush Administration, the Army Corps regularly granted nationwide permits for valley fills, even after federal judges found that the practice was illegal.
Ending Nationwide Permits will allow citizens to have more voice on mountaintop removal permits in their community–and it will require more scrutiny from government agencies to make sure permits are following the law and using good science. It will slow down mountaintop removal — but it won’t stop it.
The Army Corps has made a great step towards protecting Appalachian communities with better permitting and oversight of mountaintop removal — but it’s only the first step — we need to end mountaintop removal and valley fills all together.
The coal industry will try to cry out that they are being regulated to death — but that’s just not true. This change would protect our communities from outlaw mining practices and give us a better chance for future economic prosperity.
How can I help? Please join us at one of these hearings; there will be carpools planned if you need help getting there.:
All hearings will start at 7:00 P.M, with registration starting at 6:00 P.M.
October 13, 2009, in Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston Civic Center, Little Theatre
200 Civic Center Drive
Charleston, WV 25301
October 13, 2009, in Pikeville, Kentucky
East Kentucky Expo Center
126 Main St
Pikeville, KY 41501-1144
Carpool info: kevin [at] kftc.org
October 15, 2009, in Cambridge, Ohio
Pritchard Laughlin Civic Center
7033 Glenn Hwy.
Cambridge, OH 43725
October 15, 2009, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
David L. Lawrence Convention Center
1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Big Stone Gap Mountain Empire Community College
3441 Mountain Empire Road
Big Stone Gap, VA 24219
Written comments will be accepted through Oct. 26, 2009 to supplement the hearing records. Written comments may be submitted at the public hearings or at the federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov under docket number COE-2009-0032; or mailed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Attn: CECW-CO (Attn: Ms. Desiree Hann), 441 G. Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20314. Email or faxed comments will not be accepted.