Earthjustice and the Appalachian Center for the Economy & the Environment have filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court that asks the Court to review a recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in a controversial mountaintop removal mining case. The case challenges the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' issuance of permits allowing companies to dump waste from mountaintop removal mining into streams without following basic requirements of the Clean Water Act designed to prevent irreversible harm to the nation's waters.
"This case is of great national importance," said Earthjustice attorney Steve Roady. "The Corps of Engineers is ripping the heart out of the Clean Water Act by granting permits that allow coal companies to permanently entomb vital streams in the rubble of exploded mountains. The destruction caused by mountaintop removal mining is enormous and the adverse impacts on local communities are profound. We're asking the Supreme Court to hold the Corps accountable."
Earthjustice and the Appalachian Center for the Economy & the Environment filed this lawsuit challenging several West Virginia mountaintop removal permits in September 2005 on behalf of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy and Coal River Mountain Watch. The lawsuit challenged the Corps' violation of the Clean Water Act by authorizing the permits to fill 23 valleys and 13 miles of mountain streams in southern West Virginia without first performing even the most basic, legally required assessment of the harm that would occur when the streams are buried.
Tree-Sitters Halt Mountaintop Blasting
In related news, two tree sitters with the Climate Ground Zero campaign have forced coal giant Massey Energy (NYSE: MEE) to cancel blasts on a mountaintop removal mine in West Virginia.
You can follow the ongoing story at the Climate Ground Zero site below.