Our Federal Committee runs the Our Water, Our Future campaign
Over the last years we have continued to build relationships with government personnel at the both the EPA and OSMRE at regional offices and at the federal level. Both agencies have been working on critical rules that can have meaningful impact on communities in Central Appalachia. Through these rule making processes the Alliance has been an active participant through public comment and face-to-face meeting. We continue to build pressure on both EPA and OSM to take strong action to protect our communities from mountaintop removal pollution.
In particular, we are demanding:
- a Selenium Standard to ensure that citizens maintain the ability to test for selenium pollution in their own water,
- a Conductivity Rule based on scientific research US EPA has already conducted because we, and our federal agencies, know that high conductivity can be a key measure of dangerous water,
- a Stream Protection Rule that preserves a strong stream buffer zone requirement so that mining waste can no longer be dumped into our streams, and
- a Minefill Rule to address the currently unregulated dumping of coal burning waste into abandoned mine sites.
The Alliance has pressured the EPA to strengthen environmental permitting requirements for Appalachian surface coal mining permits projects to prevent significant and irreversible damage to Appalachian streams. EPA issued a strongly worded guidance regarding conductivity for Appalachian streams, addressing important clarifications of terms and authorities around the Clean Water Protection Act and transparency of permit tracking subject to EPA-U.S. Moreover, we pressured the Administration to force the Army Corps to review it’s permit rubber-stamping process, which it no longer uses–gumming up the works for mountaintop removal permits.