EPA has reviewed 48 proposed permits for mountaintop removal operations under the Clean Water Act. These are discharge permits for which the Corps of Engineers notified EPA it was within 60 days of issuing Clean Water Act permits.
Of these 48 pending permits, EPA expressed concern with 6 – 3 in West Virginia, 2 in Ohio and 1 in Kentucky. That is, 42 of 48 were A-okay with EPA.
Yesterday, in an exchange of letters with the Congressman Rahall of West Virginia, EPA said that it has no concerns about the remaining 42. In its letter to Congressman Rahall, the EPA states: “The Corps may proceed with appropriate permit decisions on those remaining permits.”
So, EPA lost the will to fight mountaintop removal activities. It will be interesting to see how much fight the agency has with control of greenhouse gases.