If ever there is a time we must stand together to stop mountaintop removal coal mining, it is now. On May 12, the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy approved the Ison Rock Ridge permit, a 1,300-acre surface coal mine, that would forever destroy five of communities in Wise County, Virginia, and devastate the quality of life for some 1800 people living nearby.
The Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards have been fighting the Ison Rock Ridge permit for three years. Here is our chance to stand with SAMS and the people of Appalachia to stop a mountaintop removal coal mining permit in Virginia. The Virginia Department of Mines, Mineral and Energy approved this permit over the objections of the US EPA. Now the EPA is under intense political and industry pressure to reverse its new water quality standards that make it extremely difficult for coal companies to continue the practice of blowing up mountains and bulldozing the waste in to neighboring streams.
Please send a letter to the US EPA immediately praising their action against mountaintop removal coal mining and urging them to stop to Ison Rock Ridge mine in Wise County. Please act today.
The EPA is accepting comments via a web form located at http://www.epa.gov/region03/gencomment.htm. The following is suggested comments which you are welcome to submit and/or edit as you see fit.
Also, let us know that you’ve submitted comments by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
TO: Shawn Garvin, Administrator, US EPA Region 3
RE: Ison Rock Ridge Mountaintop Removal Mine, Wise County, VA NPDES Permit No. 1003841
Dear Administrator Garvin,
I am very concerned about the destruction of the mountains of Appalachia and the pollution of our waters by mountaintop removal coal mining. I want to thank the US EPA for its actions taken thus far in setting guidance on water quality standards that protect our waters from mountaintop removal coal mining.
I also appreciate that the coal industry will object to any environmental protections that interfere with their ability to get coal from the earth by the cheapest and most destructive means, mountaintop removal coal mining.
I urge you to stand by the agency guidance for specific conductivity and deny or veto any permits that fail to meet these standards. Specifically, thank you for your review of the Ison Rock Ridge permit in Wise County, Virginia. I support US EPA’s objections to that permit and urge you to not allow that mining project to proceed.
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