June 30, 2010
Contact: Oliver Bernstein, Sierra Club, 512.289.8618
Environmental Protection Agency Approves Major Mountaintop Removal Coal Mine using More Stringent Guidelines
West Virginia Mine Approval an Ominous Sign for Appalachia’s People, Mountains and Waterways
Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given tentative approval to Arch Coal Inc.’s Coal-Mac Pine Creek Surface Mine in Logan County, West Virginia. This large mine would be one of the most significant mountaintop removal coal mines to receive permit approval since the EPA announced more stringent permit review guidance in April .
Bill Price, Sierra Club Environmental Justice organizer in West Virginia, issued the following statement:
"We had high hopes that the EPA’s more stringent guidance for mountaintop removal coal mining would mean protection for our communities, but apparently we were mistaken. It’s time to turn words into action and end this destructive practice.
"The massive Pine Creek Surface Mine and the neighboring communities and watershed suffer from the cumulative impacts of being surrounded by other mountaintop removal coal mines. This permit would allow Arch Coal Inc.’s Coal-Mac to dump toxic mining waste into three entire valleys.
"Mining companies have already buried close to 2,000 miles of Appalachian streams beneath piles of toxic waste and debris. We can’t allow even one additional mine to destroy our communities. As the late Senator Robert Byrd said, it is time to adapt to change and to embrace clean energy solutions."