Yesterday was the end of the public comment period for the April 1st guidelines that put tougher standards on mountaintop removal mining permits. So we stuffed the public comments into holiday stockings that read: “EPA: End MTR in 2011″ and headed down to the EPA with a letter.
The letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson read:
Dear Administrator Lisa Jackson,
We have come here today to deliver nearly 6,000 comments in support of ending mountaintop removal once and for all. As today is the last day for public comment collection in support of the April 1st guidelines, we wanted to deliver our own version of the public comment which calls for an abolition of mountaintop removal mining. We need you to go even further than the April 1st guidance in order to save the Appalachian people.
We hoped that the MTR guidelines would provide protection for headwater streams by curbing the practice of dumping waste in neighboring valleys to create what is known as valley fills. Then we see permits that have gone through like Pine Creek where valley fills are allowed, thus allowing the continued destruction of Appalachia and its people. Further action is crucial.
We urge you to do the right thing and end mountaintop removal mining once and for all. The survival of the Appalachian people depend on you.
Rainforest Action Network
The comment cards and letters were received by a secretary from the water division, who seemed surprised by the security guards’ surly demeanor towards us. “We’ve been here before,” we said to the woman. Then we left as we came. It was our most pleasant trip to the EPA yet.
RAN also collected and sent 5791 comments via our online actions to the EPA. Together with the 500 comments delivered in person, over 6,000 of your comments were delivered to the EPA. Thanks for all your hard work!