ESPM 50AC Final Paper

1366 WordsOct 7, 20146 Pages
Introduction Appalachia is a 205,000-square-mile region that follows the spine of the Appalachian Mountains stretching from southern New York to northern Mississippi. It is home to more than 25 million people. Appalachia Mountains are rich in natural resources, containing an abundant number of coal, timber, oil, gas, and water (Daugneaux 1981). These natural resources have historically influenced the economic characteristics of the region. The region's economy has been highly dependent on mining, forestry, agriculture, chemical industries, and heavy industry, among which coal mining appears to be the largest financial contributor to the economy (Appalachia's Economy). However, the mining practice used to extract coal in Appalachia called…show more content…
In Jan. 2011, the EPA decided to veto the dumping of waste from the Spruce No. 1 Mine. But the agency’s efforts have so far been rebuffed by the courts as an overreach: Under the weird legal regime that governs mining, it’s the Army Corps of Engineers, not the EPA, which has the ultimate say-so over those permits. In 2012, the D.C. district court ruled that EPA lacked authority to veto the permit after the Corps had issued it. However, in fact EPA's decision is based on evidence from scientific research on serious environmental harm from mining. In May 2013, a coalition of Appalachian and environmental groups petitioned the EPA to set a numeric water quality standard under the Clean Water Act to protect streams from pollution caused by mountaintop removal mining . They claimed that “State politics and industry pressure have so far failed to end this pollution without such a standard and more and more streams and communities who rely on those waters are left vulnerable. We need EPA to act now.” The EPA’s authority over the Clean Water Act in respect to Spruce Mine No. 1 was finally affirmed by the Supreme Court in March 2014. The fourth group is the government. In the film Rise Up! West Virginia and Mountain Mourning, environmentalists

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