DC Judge Restricts The EPA’s Ability To Protect Our Water and Ecosystems

Written by Amanda Starbuck

Topics: Climate & Energy, Coal

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Spruce Mine

Photo by Vivian Stockman, flyover courtesy of South Wings

I’m outraged by today’s news from DC.

Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson has ruled that the EPA exceeded its authority in revoking permits for what could now become West Virginia’s largest mountaintop removal (MTR) mine.

Back in January 2011, the EPA vetoed Arch Coal’s permit to mine at the Spruce site,  as it would cause irreparable damage to the environment, including the destruction of 2,278 acres of temperate rainforest and the burying of 7.5 miles of streams in the Spruce Fork sub-watershed. RAN’s own 2010 report details how, in a region already devastated by surface mining, this MTR mine would severely worsen existing problems of water quality and wildlife and forest loss.

The Environmental Protection Agency exists to do exactly that: protect our environment. The agency’s decision on the Spruce permit was not taken lightly, and involved a thorough stakeholder consultation. This ruling is a tragic example of how powerful corporations can use money and influence to bypass protections that are ‘inconvenient’ to their profit-making, regardless of the consequences on our ecosystems and public health.

5 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Barbara says:

    This is so sad..These greedy bastards won’t stop until they have raped and destroyed the whole planet…

    We need to take more action in producing and making affordable more alternative forms of energy and until this government really get serious about doing so, this form of destruction will continue..

    In my personal opinion, this will continue and when the time comes the government decides it is time to be serious about implementing alternative energy, it will be too late…

  2. sparki says:

    Put on the court by Obama no less. Show’s you where the Dems priorities lay….

  3. ManOfFireAndLight says:

    The EPA was the brainchild of the Republicans, when they weren’t dominated by the religious/ anti-science nutbags who now claim the GOP and as a result of their misguided convictions think that the Earth is theirs to be exploited rather than embracing humanity’s role as custodians whose role is to preserve the environment. What could be more conservative than evironmental protection?

  4. Paul Corbit Brown says:

    Perhaps Judge Amy Berman Jackson would like to spend a week in Blair, Prenter, Rawl or any of countless other communities where the water has been destroyed. Is she willing to drink the water here or have her family drink it? This decision disgusts me. It is yet another insult and injury to the people who live in these communities. There is no justice when an industry lobby has more weight in the courts than the health and well-being of real human beings (as well as all the other life that is struggling to survive in Appalachia).

  5. trudy mcIntosh says:

    Who should have any authority over the Agencies that protects the only earth that we have been given and that we need to protect with all the strength we have. We have been given a gift so beautiful. Why are the wills and whims of the short sighted and greedy so unwilling to tell us that we may have to do without for a while before we go ahead and solve the problems we have created which are monumental.WE ALL HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY HERE. And I do believe Obama was one of the first politicians I ever heard utter that sense of united effort required.

Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Federal Court Reverses Spruce Mine Veto Opening Massive Mountaintop Removal Site « It’s Getting Hot In Here
  2. Protest Judge’s Decision to Allow Coal Mining in West Virginia - ForceChange

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