The US Environmental Protection Agency announced recently that it is taking the first step to veto an Army Corps of Engineers permit for the Spruce No. 1 mine in West Virginia, the largest mountaintop removal mine ever authorized by the Corps in Appalachia. EPA has ultimate authority to enforce the Clean Water Act through the veto process established by law. The EPA’s action is based on scientific studies that contain evidence that the mine would have severe health impacts on the people, waters and ecosystems of the surrounding area.
The mine would bury more than seven miles of headwater streams, directly impact 2,278 acres of forestland, and degrade water quality in streams adjacent to the mine. EPA’s proposal to veto the mine’s permit under the Clean Water Act comes after extended discussions with the company failed to produce an agreement by the company to significantly decrease the mine’s environmental and health impacts, or fully comply with the law.
It is urgent for EPA to hear public support for its proposed denial of this permit. After years of destroying the environment and poisoning the waters of local communities, the mining company is suing to stop this critical veto and undo any protections, even before EPA has time to finalize its decision. Public comments must be received by Tuesday, June 1, 2010. Please feel free to share this action alert with members of your own organizations and other networks so we can generate a high volume of written support for EPA’s proposal!
How to submit comments We have prepared a list of suggested talking points that you can use to write your own comments. Personalized comments are the most powerful, and we strongly encourage you to craft your own comments rather than copy our talking points verbatim. If you are a resident of or native to Appalachia, we especially encourage you to share compelling stories about living with this destructive practice in your own backyard. We would love to see your comments so please send a copy of them to Jennifer Peters at email@example.com.
Comments must be received by Tuesday, June 1, 2010. Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No EPA-R03-OW-2009-095, using one of the following methods:Federal eRulemaking Portal (this is EPA’s recommended method of comment submission): http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Email your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you include the docket number, EPA-R03-OW-2009-0985, in the subject line of your message.