Jeff Biggers on “EPA’s Great Victory for Clean Water Act and Justice”

Jeff Biggers, who will be speaking at the Summit, writes on Huffington Post about a major surprise decision from the EPA, which was issued today:

Earlier this morning, I wrote a piece for April Fool’s Day, Obama Ends 150-Year War of Strip-Mining in 24 States: Mountaintop Removal Loses Its Groove.

Well, turns out the second part wasn’t an April Fool’s joke after all. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson invoked the rule of science and law today–and for the first time raised the concern of the health care crisis in the coalfields from mountaintop removal.

The EPA administrator announced a major decision today to clamp down on Clean Water Act violations from mountaintop removal mining–yes, the EPA administrator actually used the words “mountaintop removal” and not “mountaintop mining” in the press conference today–and effectively bring an end to the process of valley fills (and the dumping of toxic coal mining waste into the valleys and waterways).

Citing new EPA studies that conclusively demonstrate that “burial of headwater streams by valley fills causes permanent loss of ecosystems,” the EPA issued new conductivity levels “to protect 95% of aquatic life and fresh water streams in central Appalachia.”

Read more here.

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