January 13, 2011, WASHINGTON, (Coal Geology) -A broad and diverse group of business and industry groups known as the Waters Advocacy Coalition (WAC) has sent a letter to Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Helen Sutley asking her to oppose the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) unprecedented threat to veto a properly issued, valid Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 404 permit for Mingo Logan’s Spruce No. 1 surface mine located in West Virginia. The Spruce permit was issued under the Clean Water Act (CWA) in 2007 after an extensive 10-year review, including the preparation of a multi-million dollar Environmental Impact Statement. EPA fully participated in the comprehensive permitting process and chose not to elevate or veto the permit prior to its issuance. EPA has never revoked a previously issued, valid CWA Section 404 permit.
“The threat of EPA‘s veto of an approved and issued permit is troubling not only for the mining industry in West Virginia but for dozens of industries and employers across the country,” said Bryan Brown, West Virginia Executive Director of FACES of Coal. “It’s a confounding circumstance given the unemployment and troubling economic conditions our state and country are suffering through. This administration talks about job creation but we have an EPA obsessed with job destruction.”
The WAC’s letter, which was also sent to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, explains that, “The CWA Section 404 regulatory program annually authorizes approximately $220 billion in economic activity. EPA’s threatened revocation of the Spruce permit will chill investment and job creation by creating an uncertain regulatory environment in which businesses and citizens will no longer be able to rely on valid Section 404 permits.” A copy of the letter can be found at http://www.facesofcoal.org/from-the-waters-advocacy-coalition/.
Brown also commented, “The letter from the Waters Advocacy Coalition explains a very frightening and serious situation, one in which the EPA is threatening every previously approved CWA Section 404 permit and every agricultural, home building, transportation or other type of project that has broken ground under that permit. That doesn’t stimulate the economy, it punishes it. FACES of Coal fervently agrees with the letter and is very supportive of WAC’s efforts.”
The Waters Advocacy Coalition includes; American Farm Bureau Federation, American Road and Transportation Builders Association, Ball Clay Producers Association, Edison Electric Institute, The Fertilizer Institute, Foundation for Environmental and Economic Progress, Industrial Minerals Association – North America, International Council of Shopping Centers, International Diatomite Producers Association, National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Manufacturers, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Industrial Sand Association, National Mining Association, National Multi-Housing Council, National Realtors Association, National Stone Sand and Gravel Association, Public Lands Council, Southern Crop Production Association, Western Business Roundtable and United Egg Producers.
The Federation for American Coal, Energy and Security (FACES of Coal) is an alliance of more than 70,000 people from all walks of life who are joining forces to educate lawmakers and the general public about the importance of coal and coal mining to our local and national economies and to our nation’s energy security. In addition to keeping tens of thousands of people employed in good-paying jobs, coal is the lifeblood of our domestic energy supply, generating nearly half the electricity consumed in the United States today.
SOURCE The Federation for American Coal, Energy and Security (FACES of Coal)
CONTACT: Bryan Brown of The Federation for American Coal, Energy and Security (FACES of Coal), +1-304-546-5500
Web Site: http://www.facesofcoal.org