Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | March 26, 2009

Kentucky environmental lawyer Sanders says EPA backpeddling on mountaintop mining and water quality issues.

After EPA’s announcement that it was concerned about the adverse water quality impacts from mountain top mining, the agency faced a firestorm of criticism from industry and elected officals.  EPA then issued this clarification:

The Environmental Protection Agency is not halting, holding or placing a moratorium on any of the mining permit applications. Plain and simple. EPA has issued comments on two pending permit applications to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expressing serious concerns about the need to reduce the potential harmful impacts on water quality. EPA will take a close look at other permits that have been held back because of the 4th Circuit litigation. We fully anticipate that the bulk of these pending permit applications will not raise environmental concerns. In cases where a permit does raise environmental concerns, we will work expeditiously with the Army Corps of Engineers to determine how these concerns can be addressed. EPA’s submission of comments to the Corps on draft permits is a well-established procedure under the Clean Water Act to assure that environmental considerations are addressed in the permitting process.

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