photo: Quinn Dombrowski via flickr.
The EPA may think that approving new mountaintop removal coal mines can be done, provided sufficient remediation steps are taken, but a new article in Science magazine by twelve scientists from institutions from across the United States disagrees. In the mildly-named "Mountaintop Mining Consequences", the scientists basically say that there's no mitigation effort that can ever make mountaintop mining OK and the practice should be stopped:
Article lead author Dr Margaret Palmer of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science sums it up,
The scientific evidence of the severe environmental and human impacts from mountaintop mining is strong and irrefutable. Its impacts are pervasive and long lasting and there is no evidence that any mitigation practices successfully reverse the damage it causes.
The alternative Palmer says is a "21st century approach to fulfilling our nation's energy needs."
No longer can we risk human and environmental health in our never-ending search for inexpensive energy. We need to move beyond filling valleys with mountaintop mining waste and temporarily storing fly ash in containment ponds to a modern energy production process built upon sound science, environmental safety and economic common sense.
MORE VIDEO: Coal: The Good, The Bad, The Dirty
All of this may be preaching to the choir here on TreeHugger, but apparently the EPA hasn't fully gotten the message yet. Perhaps everyone should forward the article to your representatives and the Univ. of Maryland press release as well.
Eminent Group of Scientists Call for Moratorium on Issuance of Mountaintop Mining Permits
Mountaintop Mining Consequences [PDF - subscription of pay-per-read required]
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