First Mountaintop Mining Permit Expected To Be Revoked

A major mountaintop mining permit is likely to be rejected after an environmental review found "unacceptable" impacts on water quality and wildlife. This would be the first major rebuke to the mining practice, and could foreshadow its end.

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to revoke the permit that would allow the Arch Coal mining company's proposed mining operation in the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia.

"A scientific review carried out by the EPA and published on 15 October concluded that the project, Spruce 1, would have 'unacceptable' effects on water quality and wildlife, and recommended its permit be revoked. Carol Raulston, a spokeswoman for the National Mining Association (NMA), based in Washington DC, told Nature: 'The NMA has no reason to believe the EPA will not follow the recommendations in its final determination on the Spruce permit.'

The move is likely to set the tone for decisions on other mining projects. More than 100 surface-mining permits are pending approval with the Army Corps of Engineers, which is responsible for investigating, developing and maintaining the nation's water and related environmental resources."

Full Story: Mountaintop mining plans close to defeat

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