Where You Live, Take Action! Comment to the EPA on its List of 79
It's important that we get a good crowd out to show support for the Army Corps' decision to stop issuing rubber stamp permits called "Nationwide Permits" -- and to let them know that a lot more is needed to protect our communities from the devastating impacts of mountaintop removal.
Before a company can start removing a mountain and dumping it into nearby valleys, there is supposed to be a rigorous permitting process to ensure that they will use good science, operate within the law and not harm nearby communities. Unfortunately, about one-third of mountaintop removal coal mining projects are approved under "nationwide permits." These permits are designed for projects with "minimal impact" --but burying miles of streams under millions of tons of rubble is hardly "minimal impact." During the Bush Administration, the Army Corps regularly granted nationwide permits for valley fills, even after federal judges found that the practice was illegal.
Ending Nationwide Permits will allow citizens more voice on mountaintop removal permits in their community--and it will require more scrutiny from government agencies to make sure permits are following the law and using good science. It will slow down mountaintop removal -- but it won't stop it.
The Army Corps has made a great first step towards protecting Appalachian communities with better permitting and oversight of mountaintop removal -- but it's only the first step -- we need to end mountaintop removal and valley fills altogether.
The coal industry will try to cry out that they are being regulated to death -- but that's just not true. This change would protect our communities from outlaw mining practices and give us a better chance for future economic prosperity.
Please join us at one of these hearings; carpools are in the works if you need help getting there:
7 p.m., October 13, in Charleston, West Virginia at the Charleston Civic Center, Little Theatre.
7 p.m., October 13, in Pikeville, Kentucky at the East Kentucky Expo Center. The public hearing will start at 7 p.m.
7 p.m., October 13, in Knoxville, Tennessee. The public hearing will start at 7 p.m.
7 p.m., October 15, in Cambridge, Ohio at the Pritchard Laughlin Civic Center. The public hearing will start at 7 p.m.
7 p.m., October 15, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The public hearing will start at 7 p.m.
7 p.m., October 15, in Big Stone Gap, Virginia at Mountain Empire Community College. The public hearing will start at 7 p.m.
Can't travel? You can comment online - click here.
Oct. 9-11: The 14th annual Heartwood Reunion, which features an inspiring and informative program, great music, dancing and entertainment, and outstanding food prepared by Shane McElwee and her kitchen magicians. The Reunion also includes the Indiana Forest Alliance Fall Forest Fest, and will feature the Indiana premiere of Coal Country, a powerful new film documenting life in the shadow of King Coal. We are also pleased to offer legendary organizer and activist Mike Roselle with stories from his new book, Treespiker: From Earth First! to Lowbagging: My Struggles in Environmental Activism. Information about the Reunion can be found on the Heartwood website.
Oct. 9 -11 Sierra Fest 2009 at Camp Virgil Tate in Kanawha County, 2009. Speakers include 2009 Goldman Environmental Prize Winner and OVEC organizer Maria Gunnoe. The event includes a showing of the film Coal Country and an exhibit of Antrim Caskey's photographs. Full schedule and registration details here.
Oct. 10 - 11: Changing of the Leaves Festival on Kayford Mountain. Musicians, please help out. Contact Larry Gibson at 304 542 1134. The fun begins at noon each day. Please bring a covered dish to share.
Oct. 15: 9 a.m. Boone County Courthouse, Madison, WV. Mathew Louis-Rosenberg, one of the Kayford 8 goes on trial. Please come out and show your support for those who are willing to really stick their necks out in order to end mountaintop removal coal mining.
Oct. 16 - 18: Mountain Justice Fall Summit in Rock Creek, WV. Register here.