Today the EPA’s two regional offices that have jurisdiction over new mountaintop removal coal mining permits got visits by RAN activists. Atlanta’s Region 4 office oversees new MTR permits in Kentucky and Tennessee, while Philadelphia’s Region 3 office is responsible for new permits in Virginia and West Virginia. Read about Philadelphia’s protest here.
Carrying banners and signs and wearing giant puppet costumes, over 60 activists rallied outside Atlanta’s Federal Building which houses the EPA’s regional office and demanded that Region 4 Regional Administrator, Stanley Meiburg, take a stand against mountaintop removal coal mining.
We heard from speakers, chanted anti-mtr chants, and acted out a skit in which the EPA and King Coal are set to get married, until (a fictional) Regional Administrator Meiburg steps in to stop the ceremony and stand up to defend air and water quality from the coal industry’s destruction.
After the skit a couple of us went inside the Federal Building to bring our anti-mtr message directly to the EPA. We were able to meet with Mr. Meiburg himself and we talked at length about our concerns about mountaintop removal. Meiburg agreed to bring together decision makers from Region 4 regarding MTR to meet with RAN and our Appalachian allies in the near future. We will be working hard to make sure that meeting happens soon and that Region 4 hears our message loud and clear – stay tuned!
All in all, today’s protest was a great success, thanks to all the great Southern activists who came out to make their voices heard!