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Yarmuth Applauds EPA's Scrutiny of Mountaintop Removal Mining Permits; Urges Greater Restrictions on Damaging Practice



(Washington, DC) Today, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) issued the following statement in support of the decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct detailed reviews of pending permits for surface coal-mining projects.  


“I am pleased that, under this Administration, the EPA is finally taking into account the environmental and health impacts of mountaintop removal mining,” said Congressman Yarmuth.  “No permits should be issued that allow this destructive practice – which is why I will continue to urge my Congressional colleagues to pass the Clean Water Protection Act.”


Citing environmental concerns with each project, the EPA announced that 79 proposed mountaintop removal mining projects in four Appalachian states would undergo detailed review. An initial study indicated that the projects would impact water quality in each surrounding community.


The permits will be reviewed over the next 15 days, and questionable permits will then undergo further consideration by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers.


The Clean Water Protection Act would change environmental standards to end mountaintop removal mining by clarifying that "fill material"- which mining companies are presently permitted to dump in streams and valleys - cannot be waste material from mountaintop removal sites.