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EPA blocks mountaintop removal.

By Brad Johnson

"EPA blocks mountaintop removal."

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In a major reversal of Bush policy, “mountaintop coal-mining permits are being put on hold until the projects’ impacts on streams and wetlands can be reviewed,” the Environmental Protection Agency announced today:

Citing its regulatory role under the Clean Water Act, the EPA said the letters stated that the projects “would likely cause water quality problems in streams below the mines, would cause significant degradation to streams buried by mining activities, and that proposed steps to offset these impacts are inadequate.”

A midnight regulation by the Bush administration attempted to make permanent its policy of permitting coal companies to strip the tops off of Appalachian mountains and bury watersheds with the waste.

Update

“Lax rules by the Bush Administration have made mountaintop removal an American emergency,” JW Randolph of Appalachian Voices tells ThinkProgress. “Today, the people of Appalachia are celebrating.”

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