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.
Phoenix, AZ — Arizona’s Havasupai Tribe and a coalition of conservation groups are praising Judge David Campbell’s decision today to uphold the U.S. Department of the Interior’s 20-year ban on new uranium mining claims across one million acres of public lands adjacent to Grand Canyon. The court ruled that the decision complied with federal environmental laws and that it was not too large, as plaintiffs had argued. At stake is protecting the aquifers and streams that feed the Colorado River and Grand Canyon from toxic uranium mining waste and depletion.
Court Upholds Grand Canyon Uranium Mining Ban | Earthjustice.
A U.S. judge has ruled that BP’s recklessness caused 2010’s massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a move that could cost the company billions. Earlier this week Halliburton, the company in charge of sealing the completed Deepwater Horizon well that spewed millions of gallons of oil into the gulf, agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle claims arising from its negligence.
BP’s Recklessness Caused Gulf Oil Spill, U.S. Judge Rules.
On World Water Day, the World Resources Institute (WRI) has released a study that maps for the first time the water resources available to support fracking in the world’s largest shale exploration areas. The study, “Global Shale Gas Development: Water Availability and Business Risk,” found that 40 percent of countries with the largest shale energy resources could suffer from water stress: competing demands on their renewable water supply that could make it problematic to use that water for fracking.
Groundbreaking Study: Water Demand Impacts Fracking Worldwide.
Anti-globalization author Naomi Klein says global investors should avoid Canadian natural-resource companies because of the growing risk that courts will award more control of land to aboriginal groups, threatening the viability of proposed development projects.
“Any resource investment in Canada right now should be treated as an uncertain investment,” Klein said in an interview yesterday during a social justice conference at the University of Ottawa. “More and more Canadians are realizing that indigenous land rights are the best legal tool to stop projects that are rejected by the majority of residents.”
Klein says Canada resources bad investment on land claims – Tar Sands Solutions Network.
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.
In a state wracked with clashes over its explosive expansion of fracking, residents of Lafayette, Colorado just outside Boulder, have filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent the state of Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper and the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) from taking away the town’s right to ban the practice.
Colorado Town Sues State, Gov. Hickenlooper and COGA to Protect Right to Ban Fracking | EcoWatch.