Protect Appalachia's Water from Mountaintop Removal Mining!
- by: Sierra Club
- target: Robert Perciasepe, Acting EPA Administrator and Nancy Sutley,Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality
For many people living near mountaintop removal coal mining sites in Appalachia, the water they are forced to use for bathing, cooking, and even drinking is cloudy, brown, and toxic.
Years of mountaintop removal coal mining have buried 2,000 miles of local streams with waste from Big Coal's destruction -- many of the streams that are left are devoid of life. Well water in the area isn't safe either, and it's making people sick.
Tell the White House and the EPA that everyone deserves clean water. Urge them to act now to protect Appalachia from mountaintop removal mining!
Protect Appalachian Streams from Mountaintop Removal Mining
Dear [Decision Maker],
I urge the EPA to issue a new regulation setting federal numeric water quality standards on conductivity to protect streams and communities in Appalachia from mountaintop removal mining pollution. Authorized under the Clean Water Act, these standards will bring relief to Appalachians before the end of the Obama administration's second term. The EPA must start work now to ensure the regulations are set before the end of the administration.
EPA and independent scientists have documented that waters downstream of mountaintop removal are harmed by extremely high levels of conductivity pollution from these mining operations, with many important species entirely missing from streams. Mining pollution deprives Appalachian communities of the clean water that most Americans take for granted.
I appreciate that the EPA took action during the Obama administration's first term that slowed mountaintop removal. But these measures were non-binding and do not have the force of law. Appalachian politicians and mining companies are challenging them.
Now is the time to make these protections legally binding and permanent, so that the EPA can fulfill its mission to protect streams and communities.