Environmental activists in Appalachia have long suspected that water samples from mountaintop removal mines are sometimes tampered with, but now someone has been caught at it. IMO, this kind of thing is a natural consequence of letting the extractive industry buy politicians…or lab techs or anybody else.
I hope this case strengthens the campaign in Tennessee and other states to keep regulatory authority for coal mining (primacy) with the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, and not the states.
“A Raleigh County man pleaded guilty Thursday to repeatedly faking compliant water quality standards for coal companies, in a case that raises questions about the self-reporting system state and federal regulators use as a central tool to judge if the mining industry is following pollution limits.”
The Charleston Gazette | Lab official admits faking coal water quality reports.
In a breathtaking but largely overlooked ruling this week, a federal judge agreed that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may disregard studies on the health impacts of mountaintop removal mining in its permitting process, only two weeks after Goldman Prize Award-winning activist Maria Gunnoe wrote an impassioned plea to President Obama to renew withdrawn funding for US Geological Survey research on strip mining operations and redouble federal action to address the decades-old humanitarian disaster.
Moving Mountains Tragedy 2014: Stunning Court Denial of Appalachian Health Crisis | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community.
See on Scoop.it – FrackInformant
A Mingo County surface mine approved by the Obama administration is violating West Virginia’s water quality limits for toxic selenium, a federal judge ruled Monday.
U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers issued a 33-page ruling in a case brought by citizen groups against CONSOL Energy’s Peg Fork Surface Mine.
The judge cited violations of the state’s selenium water quality standard, based on samples taken in December 2013.
Chambers ruled in a lawsuit brought against the CONSOL operation by the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy and the Sierra Club.
See on www.wvgazette.com
Leza Greenwald, of Athens, Mercer County, gets her head shaved on the State Capitol steps Monday with several other woman and men protesting mountaintop removal coal mining. The group sheared their locks “to represent the stripping of our heritage, our homes, our water and our land,” according to the group’s social media campaign.
Mountaintop removal protest – News – The Charleston Gazette – West Virginia News and Sports –.
In an article in the latest edition of The Environmental Forum, Harvard law professor Richard Lazarus slammed the ruling by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson overturning the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s veto of the Spruce No. 1 mine permit. Lazarus teaches environmental law, natural resources Law, Supreme Court advocacy and torts at Harvard.
via Harvard law professor criticizes Spruce ruling | Appalachian Mountain Advocates.