AudioAudio

Speaker: Lisa P. Jackson
EPA Administrator

Soundbite 1

(MP3, 1:19, 2471 KB)
Transcript: As most of you know, we’ve spent a significant portion of our time in the last 15 months addressing issues around surface coal mining. There are strong views on all sides of this debate and we’ve worked hard to reach out to all stakeholders. One point I have emphasized is EPA’s responsibility under the Clean Water Act – and we are unequivocally committed to fulfilling that responsibility with regard to mountaintop mining. We believe that this principle has been consistently applied in our review of all surface coal mining permits. But we want to be clear and consistent in the expectations and guideposts we communicate to the states, the industry and members of the public affected by our permitting actions.
Accordingly, EPA is today issuing further guidance to our Regional Offices in Appalachian states to clarify the Clean Water Act standards that apply to surface coal mining projects. This additional guidance is comprehensive. It explains the yardsticks EPA will use to assure that mountaintop mining permits fully protect local waters and coalfield communities. It also describes the information we need to evaluate these permits and the changes in mining practices and operations that we believe will reduce the impacts of potentially harmful projects.
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Soundbite 2

(MP3, 0:26, 835 KB)
Transcript: The underpinning for the guidance is a growing body of science demonstrating that degradation of ecosystems in Appalachian states is being caused by mountaintop mining. There is a considerable peer-reviewed data on this subject – much of it generated by EPA scientists – but we are releasing two additional studies from our Office of research and Development that examine the impacts of mountaintop removal projects.
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Soundbite 3

(MP3, 0:37, 1179 KB)
Transcript: We will continue to work closely with all stakeholders involved in what we view as an important environmental, public health, and economic issue. We believe that further guidance will help resolve years of litigation and gridlock and ensure that any and all mining projects meet the standards established by science and the law. Let me be clear: this is not about ending coal mining. This is about ending coal mining pollution. Coal communities should not have to sacrifice their environment, or their health, or their economic future to mountaintop mining. They deserve the full protection of our Clean Water laws.
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Soundbite 4

(MP3, 0:46, 1456 KB)
Transcript: President Obama recently named EPA co-chair of a taskforce on Carbon Capture and Storage. That group is exploring strategies to use coal without further polluting our air and advancing climate change. But we need to look at the full lifecycle of coal – from extraction to incineration. Sustainable mining practices will help increase our national energy independence without causing significant and irreversible damage to local communities. Getting this right is important to Americans who rely on affordable coal to power homes and businesses, as well as coal communities that count on jobs and a livable environment, both during mining and after coal companies move to other sites. Today’s guidance will provide the clarity and protection required to safeguard all of those interests.
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