Today, a broad coalition of citizen and environmental groups asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to reverse a Department of Interior rule that removed a key protection for streams against mountaintop removal and other large-scale surface coal mining—a 100-foot buffer zone around valuable streams in which harmful mining activities are not allowed.
The Bush administration removed this protection through a midnight rulemaking in 2008, and the Obama administration agreed the Bush administration’s action was unlawful. But the Interior Department has since failed to undo the Bush administration’s rulemaking by the deadline it agreed to. Earthjustice is asking the Court to do what the Obama administration has not: strike down the illegal Bush rule and reinstate buffers to protect vital streams from surface mining. Based on EPA estimates, mountaintop removal mining has destroyed or harmed 2,400 miles of Appalachian streams to date.
See on earthjustice.org