Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
Archive list of "E"- Notes newsletters

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Winds of Change
December 2003

Contents

OVEC's Win in Clean Water Act Case Has Nationwide and MTR Permit Implications

Ode to Massey Coal - How to Do Energy All Wrong

Granny D, Doris Haddock: On the Road Again!

Massey Coal Ordered to Monitor for Mercury, Other Toxics

On the Road to Change

Flat Land, or Flat Out Lie?

Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Arouses Passionate Comments During Comment Period

Your EIS Comments - Big Brother at OSM Is Watching Us!

Corps Idea of "Minimal Impact" Challenged in Court

Jack Spadaro's Story:
Work for MSHA, Tell
the Truth, Get Fired

WV Supreme Court Agrees to Hear OVEC Member's Case Against Arch Coal

Mountaintop Removal Mining Photos

Another Massive Massey Sludge Impoundment Proposed

Global Warming Topic of Annual Conference on the Environment

Guess What? Those Rules SAVE $$$

Even AEP knows global warming is real!

Sludge Impoundments in Spotlight - Again

Meet the New Boss at the EPA - the Same As the Old Boss at the EPA ... Sigh ...

On Getting Along

Just Say NO to Mountaintop Removal / Valley Fills in Papua, New Guinea

They Get It in California...

Remembering Laura - Memorial Fund Helps Her Passion Live On

Gifts That Give Twice - Just in Time for the Holidays!

OVEC - in ACTION

Miscellany

Web Extra Articles Below
(not in printed newsletter)

Six Million and One Reasons Why West Virginia Needs Clean Elections

Coal-bed methane attracts Halliburton to West Virginia

Public deserves a real
solution to slurry spills


For viewing the PDF version

 

Corps Idea of "Minimal Impact"
Challenged in Court

Fed up with the federal governments continued illegal permitting of mountaintop removal valley fills, OVEC, Coal River Mountain Watch and the Washington, DC-based Natural Resources Defense Council recently filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The suit challenges the illegal use of Nationwide Permit 21 for large-scale surface mining operations, particularly mountaintop removal operations. Many thanks to the Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment and Trial Lawyers for Public Justice who are representing us!

This action seeks to force the Corps to comply with the federal Clean Water Act and National Environmental Policy Act by requiring it to cease using a general permit, called Nationwide Permit 21, to authorize large-scale strip mines.

Nearly all surface mines in West Virginia are authorized under NWP 21, which is essentially a "rubber stamp" the Corps relies on to allow coal companies to destroy thousands of acres of irreplaceable forest and water resources and the communities they support. If successful, this action will set a precedent for improved Corps permitting throughout the Appalachian region and nationally.

The business newspaper the State Journal said of our lawsuit:

"The groups want to force the Corps to issue only individual permits for mining operations, which take longer than a more general nationwide permit program the environmentalists believe the Corps is not implementing correctly. The goal? Fewer mountaintop removal mining projects."

Attorney Joe Lovet of the Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment told the Charleston Gazette:

"It is unfortunate that citizens must resort to litigation to force the Bush administration to enforce environmental protection laws passed by Congress more than 25 years ago. The administrations collusion with coal operators to undermine the enforcement of these crucial laws, if allowed to continue, will not only destroy the regions forests, streams and mountains, but also its economic future."

The Charleston Daily Mail reported:

"Vivian Stockman, an organizer with the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, said mountaintop removal mining doesnt fit the definition of "minimal impact" required for the Corps of Engineers to allow a permit to fall under the generic analysis.

"Instead, the agency has approved permits that have buried more than 1,200 miles of streams and replaced thousands of acres of hardwood forests with grasslands, she said.

"Its painfully obvious that the Corps is acting without regard to the law by ignoring the individual, let alone cumulative effects, of valley fills on the natural resources and communities in the coalfields. The Corps isnt bothering to review and evaluate the destruction it is permitting. The effects to communities and the ecosystem are hardly minimal and temporary, but massive and permanent," Stockman said. "The Corps is betraying the public trust by leaving a landscape that will not recover for hundreds of years."

Please check the OVEC website often for updates on this lawsuit.

 

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