Sunday, December 7, 2008
Mountaintop Removal Good News Bad News
The Natural Resources Defense Council has persuaded Bank of America to stop providing financing to companies that mine coal through mountaintop removal. The statement came after NRDC took several BofA executives to visit coal sites in Appalachia to witness first hand the destruction the mining practice incurs.
NY Times Article
While the private sector makes progress, our government seems to be moving backwards. The EPA approved a last-minute rule change by the Bush administration that will allow coal companies to bury streams under the rocks leftover from mining. The change would eliminate a tool that citizens groups have used in lawsuits to keep mining waste out of streams.
A 1983 rule prohibited dumping the fill from mountaintop removal mining within 100 feet of streams. In practice, however, the government hadn't been enforcing the rule. 535 miles of streams were buried or diverted from 2001 to 2005 in America. Along with the loss of the streams has been an increase of erosion and flooding.