EPA vetoes Spruce Mine permit

Source Charleston (WV) Gazette

Word is just coming down that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has vetoed the largest single mountaintop removal permit in West Virginia history. The move is part of an Obama administration crackdown aimed at reducing the effects of mountaintop removal coal-mining on the environment and on coalfield communities in Appalachian–impacts that scientists are increasingly finding to be pervasive and irreversible. The final EPA decision document withdrawing the Clean Water Act Section 404 permit is available here. EPA has also now posted some appendices to that document, including a response to comments. EPA officials this morning were alerting West Virginia's congressional delegation to their action, and undoubtedly preparing for a huge backlash from the mining industry and its friends among coalfield political leaders.