Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
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June 2008
Contents

Judge to Corps: Stop Stonewalling, Show Permit Info
Legal Victories Continue: Mountaintop Removal Limited at 3 Mines, Corps Ordered to Give Timely Notice of New Full Permits
Its About Jobs That Support Human Life OVEC Joins CLEAN
Blessing of the Mountain: Potentially Volatile Prayer Vigil Turns to Calm Talk
Citizens to DEP: This is Not Good Enough!  Sludge "Study" Not Fulfilling Mandate
WVU Study Finds High Illness, Death Rates in Coalfields 
Boone County Updates: County Dragging Feet on Emergency Warning System for Sludge Dam Failures
WARN System Not Forgotten, Just ... Delayed. Again.
Reflections on A Week in Washington
Mingo County Update: From Morgan to Mingo: Sister County Solidarity
"Clean" Coal Candidates Confronted with Mountaintop Removal Questions
Mines Selenium Deforms Fish, Expert Says - Are People Next?
Show Me The Money! DEP Asks, OVEC Delivers
Youth in Action: Finding the Unexpected on a Class Trip to West Virginia
Study Resolution on Judicial Elections Prompted by Photos
Center for Individual Freedom Lawsuit Challenges 527 Limits
Challenge Grant Goal Met! Thanks!
Rising Level of Intimidation Against Anti-Mountaintop Removal Leaders
Faith in Action: OVEC Staffer Presents to Franciscan Community
Train to Speak Out, Not Freak Out! - Getting Our Message to the Media
Citi Shareholders Asked to Get Principled About Their Investments
KY Residents Organize to Fight Landfill
Blair Mtn. Preservation Update
Global Warming / Climate Instability in the Mountain State
Thats Quite a Bit for One Photography Course in College 
The Talk of the Town, State, Nation, Planet Maybe Even Beyond!
Coalfield Residents Testify at Wind Hearing in Cape Cod
Mountaintops Do Not Grow Back - New Booklet Produced
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, West Virginia style
Farewell to Abe
OVEC Works!
Miscellany


For viewing the PDF version of the newsletter

 
Winds of Change Newsletter, June 2008     See sidebar for table of contents

Judge to Corps: Stop Stonewalling, Show Permit Info

 
What Judge Chambers does NOT like to see  a stream buried under tons of rock before the corps even notifies the public the permit was approved.
What Judge Chambers does NOT like to see a stream buried under tons of rock before the corps even notifies the public the permit was approved.

Excerpted from an article by Ken Ward Jr., Charleston Gazette, April 18, 2008

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers must stop stonewalling environmental group requests for information about new mountaintop-removal mining permits, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers ordered corps officials to immediately notify lawyers for the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, WV Highlands Conservancy and Coal River Mountain Watch when the agency issues new mining permits.

"What I dont want to see is streams and the area around streams being disturbed between now and (a hearing a few days later) in a way that creates the kind of irreparable damage that the plaintiffs seek to prevent," Chambers said

Lovett said the corps has refused to provide citizen groups with information about new permits and has stalled on responding to weekly Freedom of Information Act requests for permit documents.

By delaying the public notification about new permits, Lovett said, corps officials allow coal operators to bury streams before environmental groups can challenge those permits in court.

Chambers said requiring the (groups to submit)

weekly records requests was not acceptable and ordered the corps to provide notice of new permits to Lovett at the same time coal companies learn if they have been granted.

Chambersindicated he was unlikely to shut down a mine where stream damage was already done.

"If a stream has already been filled, for better or worse, its beyond the courts ability to grant any relief," Chambers said. "Its too late."

Lovett said thats exactly what he was concerned would happen because of the corps stonewalling in releasing information about newly issued permits.

 

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