Environmental Protection Agency pulls coal mine permit

Patrick Reis

The Obama administration Thursday reversed a Bush-era decision and blocked a bid to build one of the largest mountaintop removal coal mines in Appalachian history.

For the first time, the Environmental Protection Agency is revoking a permit already issued, taking back its approval for Arch Coal’s Spruce No.1 mine in southern West Virginia. EPA said the mine would cause unacceptable damage to local waterways and public health.

EPA’s decision is a major victory for environmental groups, who have fought against the mine since it was proposed more than a decade and cements agency administrator Lisa Jackson’s status as their environmental hero. The George W. Bush administration had approved the Clean Water Act permit in 2007.

“In sharp contrast to the previous administration’s policies on mountaintop removal coal mining, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is showing a strong commitment to the law, the science and the principles of environmental justice,” Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune said today. “She deserves enormous credit for changing policies to protect Appalachia’s health, land and water.”

But EPA’s critics are vowing to battle the decision in the courts, Congress and the White House.

Joe Manchin, West Virginia’s new Democratic senator, vowed Thursday to do everything in his power to block EPA’s move, calling it a “shocking display of overreach.”

The article continues at Politico.

H/T GatewayPundit

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