Why Has it Taken SO LONG?
…and so many miles of streams gone–entire watersheds? I look at Goose Creek and Nameless, and try to imagine how I would have felt had these irresponsible “laws” allowed them to become lost to “overburden” and acid mine waste.
Press release 3/23/07 from EarthJustice
“Today, we applaud the ruling in federal court stating that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the law by issuing mountaintop removal mining permits that allowed vital headwater streams to be permanently buried.
“The federal government has been illegally issuing such permits. Doing so has led to widespread and irreversible devastation to the streams, mountains and lands across Appalachia. The judge
The Corp’s witnesses…conceded that the Corps does not know of any successful stream creation projects in the Appalachian region
has made it clear that the Corps must now comply with the Clean Water Act and stop issuing illegal permits.
“This decision does give the Corps another chance to try and show that they can issue permits for valley fills in streams without violating the law. But the evidence to date shows that the Corps has no scientific basis–no real evidence of any kind–upon which it bases its decisions to permit this permanent destruction to streams and headwaters. They have shown no evidence to support their claims that this destruction can simply be ‘fixed’ through mitigation. In fact, as the court opinion correctly notes: “The Corp’s witnesses…conceded that the Corps does not know of any successful stream creation projects in the Appalachian region.”
“Mountaintop removal mining valley fills cannot comply with the Clean Water Act without strict environmental limits. We hope the Corps recognizes this fact and realizes that approving illegal mountaintop removal mining permits does nothing to protect the environment, violates the law and is destroying the lives and culture of the people of West Virginia and the region.”