EPA Official Criticizes Mountaintop Coal Mining

Law360, New York (June 22, 2009, 12:00 AM EDT) -- Mountaintop coal mining robs Appalachia's ecosystem of the carbon sequestration properties of forests, threatens native species and destroys critical watersheds, a top U.S. environmental official told lawmakers in Washington on Thursday.

"Too many small streams and wetlands ... are being buried and polluted," the regional director of assessment for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, John “Randy” Pomponio, told a U.S. Senate panel.

The mountaintop removal method of surface coal mining, pioneered in West Virginia, involves the blasting of the soil and rock at the top of...
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