EPA Denies 11 Water Permits for Coal Mines in Kentucky

The U.S. EPA has denied 11 water dishcarge permits sought by coal companies due to environmental concerns such as acid mine drainage, in which sulfur compounds leach into waterways (see image).
Author: Bevan Griffiths-Sattenspiel

For the first time in nearly 20 years, the U.S. EPA id blocking 11 water discharge permits sought by coal mines in Kentucky.

According to the Clean Water Network:

For the first time in nearly 20 years, the U.S. Environmentall Protection Agency is taking action in Kentucky and blocking 11 water discharge permits sought by coal mines in the state. The EPA says that the mines fail to protect the waterways of eastern Kentucky. EPA's move in Kentucky is similar to actions it has taken in other Appalachian states where state officials have charged EPA with overstepping its bounds. Letters sent to the Kentucky Division of Water by EPA Region IV cite the state's own assessment of existing poor water quality in the areas where the permits are being sought. It also says that state regulators moved too quickly in an effort to approve the permits and failed to analyze whether proposed discharges from new surface mining activity would likely violate state water quality standards. EPA's move to block the permits has been hailed by environmental organizations in the state, saying it reflects a renewed commitment of enforcing the Clean Water Act in mining areas. In reference to EPA's actions, CWN member Judy Petersen, Executive Director of the Kentucky Waterways Alliance said, "we think this is a very good step in the right direction. We can see we are not doing a good job of protecting the Appalachian streams. We can't just keep doing business as usual."

For more information on the EPA denying permits in Kentucky, click here.

For more information on the harmful effects of coal energy from mining to electric power generation, click here

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