RAN Protests Spruce Mine at EPA HQ

photo via RAN

Rainforest Action Network is working to bring attention to largest ever proposed mountaintop removal site--the Spruce mine in Blair, West Virginia. Activists showed up at EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C and promptly dumped 1,000 pounds of Appalachian dirt on the sidewalk. RAN's message: "EPA: Don't Let King Coal Dump On Appalachia."The Obama administration recently announced that will decide on the Spruce mine this month. RAN says that the Spruce mine project is a "bellweather," an indication of how stringently the administration will limit mountaintop removal.

Amanda Starbuck from the Rainforest Action Network said:

"At issue here is not whether the Spruce mine would be bad for the environment or human health, because we know it would and the EPA has said it would. At issue is whether, during an election season, President Obama's EPA will stand up to coal industry pressure and veto this horrific project.

In July, the New York Times profiled the Spruce mine, saying that it was a key test case for how far officials will go using the Clean Water Act. Under the proposal, over 400 feet will be blasted off mountaintops and deposited below in the waterways.

The Environmental Protection Agency under the Obama administration, in a break with President George W. Bush's more coal-friendly approach, has threatened to halt or sharply scale back the project known as Spruce 1. The agency asserts that the project would irrevocably damage streams and wildlife and violate the Clean Water Act.
Because it is one of the largest mountaintop mining projects ever and because it has been hotly disputed for a dozen years, Spruce 1 is seen as a bellwether by conservation groups and the coal industry.

More on mountaintop removal:
EPA to Regulate Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining More Stringently
Fate of Biggest US Mountaintop Removal Mining Project to be Decided This Year