Action Alert: Urge the EPA to Ban Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

February 16, 2012

A couple in West Virginia did not expect Arch Coal to destroy the mountaintop in their backyard when they built their home. Blasts shook their foundation, contaminated their well, and eventually forced them to accept a below-market buyout for their land. (Photo courtesy Vivian Stockman-www.ohvec.org; Flyover courtesy SouthWings.org)

Over the past 20 years, mountaintop removal mining has left thousands of communities in extreme poverty, destroyed 14 million acres of forest and 2,000 miles of headwater streams, and increased levels of birth defects, respiratory disease, and cancer.

Mountaintop removal puts nearby communities at risk from: mudslides, flooding, loss of crops, polluted water wells, cracked house foundations, and increased levels of birth defects, respiratory disease, and cancer.

Please join us in signing the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Ministries’ petition to the EPA, endorsing the statement below:

We are called to protect Earth, for as the Psalmist declares: The Earth is the Lord’s, and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it. I urge you to protect God’s Creation by acting as a steward of the abundant Creation God has given us to share equitably among all people. Please stop the destructive practice of mountaintop removal coal mining.

Read the full action alert here.

Mountaintop removal resources  |  Eco-Justice Ministries worship resources


Action Alert: Thank the EPA for objecting to 19 mountaintop removal permits

February 8, 2012

Mountaintop removal coal mining destroys the natural environment and ecosystem, contaminates drinking water, threatens longstanding  Appalachian culture, and has contributed to higher unemployment in affected communities.

We are grateful for the EPA’s careful scrutiny of and objections to 19 mountaintop removal mining permits in Kentucky this past September, and we hope that the agency continues to stand against this damaging practice.

Please send a letter to Administrator Jackson and the EPA thanking them for their careful scrutiny and objection to these permits!

Read the full action alert here.

Mountaintop removal resources


Action Alert: Oct 28 Mountaintop Removal Webinar

October 14, 2011

The National Council of Churches will be holding a conference call/webinar on why the faith community cares about mountaintop removal coal mining, how God’s land and people are suffering, and what you can do to stop it.

  • Webinar: Friday, October 28, 2pm Eastern Time
  • To sign up for the webinar, click here.

*Space is limited, so register today


MCC Action Alert: Celebrate Veto of Mountaintop Removal Permits

January 27, 2011

Please join us in thanking the Environmental Protection Agency for their veto of permits for mountaintop removal coal mining in West Virginia.

After years of litigation and debate, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized a veto of water permits for a new mountaintop removal coal mine in West Virginia.  The decision is seen by many as a hopeful sign for the future of mining regulation.

The Spruce Number One mine was the biggest mountaintop removal strip mine ever permitted in Appalachia.  It was located in the Spruce Fork Watershed, which has already been negatively impacted by previous mining activity.

Click here for an MCC Action Alert about the veto, as well as a sample thank-you letter to the EPA.

 

Send a letter thanking the Environmental Protection Agency for their veto of permits for mountaintop removal coal mining in West Virginia.

Background: After years of litigation and debate, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized a veto of water permits for a new mountaintop removal coal mine in West Virginia.  The decision is seen by many as a hopeful sign for the future of mining regulation.

Please join us in thanking the Environmental Protection Agency for their veto of permits for mountaintop removal coal mining in West Virginia.

After years of litigation and debate, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized a veto of water permits for a new mountaintop removal coal mine in West Virginia.  The decision is seen by many as a hopeful sign for the future of mining regulation.    The Spruce Number One mine was the biggest mountaintop removal strip mine ever permitted in Appalachia.  It was located in the Spruce Fork Watershed, which has already been negatively impacted by previous mining activity.

The Spruce Number One mine was the biggest mountaintop removal strip mine ever permitted in Appalachia.  It was located in the Spruce Fork Watershed, which has already been negatively impacted by previous mining activity.


Big win for opponents of mountaintop removal mining

April 8, 2010

Last Thursday, the Obama administration enacted new, stricter environmental guidelines regarding a coal mining practice known as “mountaintop removal”:

The announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency ended months of bureaucratic limbo on the issue. It was hailed by environmentalists but condemned by coal industry officials, who said it would render a technique that generates about 10 percent of U.S. coal largely impractical.

At “mountaintop removal” mines, which are unique to Appalachian states, miners blast the peaks off mountains to reach coal seams inside and then pile vast quantities of rubble in surrounding valleys. Under the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, hundreds of such sites received federal permits.

But on Thursday, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said those “valley fills” will be curtailed. She cited new scientific evidence showing that when rainwater is filtered through the jumbles of rock, it emerges imbued with toxins, poisoning small mountain streams.  (Read the full article from the Washington Post)

What the Post article fails to mention is that traditional coal mining results in many more jobs than mountaintop removal mining.  Also, 25% of the water in this country starts out in the headwaters of the Appalachian mountains.

For more on how mountaintop removal has affected communities that MCC works with, read this article on “Cheap Energy, Hidden Costs.


Environment

February 2, 2013

By Tammy Alexander

In June the House passed a bill that would have allowed border patrol to waive environmental and public health laws in federal lands within 100 miles of the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico borders.  Plans to build three areas of border fencing in Texas flood plains were approved by the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) despite concerns from its Mexican counterpart that it would lead to flooding and violate a bi-national treaty.

MCC Washington Office staff met with State Department officials to discuss the IBWC decision and also with the Army Corp of Engineers to discuss the permitting process for mountaintop removal coal mining.

As immigration reform bills are debated in Congress, we will continue to watch for proposals that would negatively impact the environment or border communities.


Appalachia Rising, Sept. 25-27, Washington, DC

August 30, 2010

On Sept. 25-27, advocates will gather in Washington, DC, to call for the abolition of mountaintop removal and surface mining.

Mountaintop removal has already destroyed over 500 of the world’s oldest mountains and more than 2,000 miles of streams, and has contaminated our nation’s waters. Appalachia Rising strives to unite coalfield residents and organizations with national allies from all walks of life. This movement follows a long history of social action for a just and sustainable Appalachia and comes directly out of the work of organizations in coalfield states.

Learn more.


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