June 26, 27, 28, 2009: National Day of Action

WE NEED YOUR HELP! Below are ten cities that contain EPA regional offices. We need an action of any sort – signs, rallies, or just handing out material at as many offices as possible. If you are from or near any of these cities and can give a few hours of your time, please contact us at christopherscottirwin {at} yahoo.com or on Facebook.

  • Boston*
    Contact: Ken
    kenward (at) brightlines.org or
    Colleen, colleenelizabeth (at) riseup.net
  • New York
  • Philadelphia
  • Atlanta*
    Contact: James
    jkane3 (at) utk.edu
    770-845-5002

  • Chicago
  • Dallas*
    Contact: Thomas, undoubtedlythomas (at) yahoo.com
  • Kansas City*
    Contact: kellis.bayless (at) gmail.com
  • Denver*
    Contact: Joe Ferrone
    303.641.1708
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Washington D.C.*
    Contact: Andrew, anromu (at) gmail.com
*Actions currently being planned. Contact christopherscottirwin {at} yahoo.com for detail.

If we don’t stop this backsliding NOW it will be too late. THERE ARE 150-200 BACK-LOGGED MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL PERMITS THAT THE EPA IS ABOUT TO RELEASE TO THE COAL INDUSTRY.

If you can’t make it make to one of the regional offices then call them on Friday, June 26.
EPA Region 1
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont
1 Congress Street
Boston, MA 02203
New England States: (888) 372-7341

Outside New England: (617) 918-1111
EPA Region 2
New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands
290 Broadway
New York, NY 10007
(212) 637-3000
EPA Region 3
Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia
841 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 191107
(215) 814-5000, (215) 597-9800
EPA Region 4
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee
61 Forsyth Street, SW
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 347-4727
EPA Region 5
Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin
77 W. Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 353-2000
EPA Region 6
Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
1445 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75202
(214) 665-6444
EPA Region 7
Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska
726 Minnesota Avenue
Kansas City, KS 66101
(913) 551-7000
EPA Region 8
Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming
999 18th Street
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 293-1603
EPA Region 9
Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Guam, Marianas
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 744-1702
EPA Region 10
Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington
1200 Sixth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 553-1200

Here are some more ideas on what to do. Be Creative:

  1. Make a ton of pics of MTR sites and slather the downtown with them.
  2. Picket the EPA with some signs and pictures at noon and 5pm and 7am when they are going to and leaving work.
  3. Hand out info about MTR and Obama at EPA offices.
  4. Make a call.
  5. Email voicing your opposition to this backsliding.
  6. Contact or email all those obama websites and list where you can comment–lets use his own machine to voice dissent.
  7. Call and set up an appointment and go talk to the EPA.
  8. Call and complain to your local Democratic national office or Obama headquarters–go speak to the grassroots folks and ask “what the hell?”

Mountaintop Removal Permit Tracker

Pending Permits in Appalachia and Possible Impacts on the Environment and Nearby Communities.



Key for Tracker:
SMCRA # = Surface Mining Control & Reclamation Act Permit # P = Pending
404 = Individual 404 Permit Lit = Issued, but held up in litigation
21 = NWP 21 Authorization (Note: This national permit is currently under review and subject to revocation.)
Note: While thorough and accurate, this list is not all-inclusive, primarily because obtaining information about pending mountaintop removal coal mining permits is extremely difficult. The Army Corps of Engineers in particular is not generally forthcoming with what should be public information, and it takes persistence to find out about new mining. (source:
action.sierraclub.org)

Incomplete Timeline of Obama and the EPA Caving to Coal Industry Pressure

January 20, 2009 – EPA sends letter to Army Corp stating concerns that Buffalo Mountain valley fill permit violates the Clean Water Act and violates WV’s own extremely weak clean water regulations.

March 23, 2009 – EPA sends three letters to Army Corps of Engineers expressing “significant concern” regarding three permits, two in WV and the other in Pike County KY (Colony Bay letter, Reylas letter, Big Branch letter) (EPA press release).

March 24, 2009 – EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announces she instructed EPA staff “to review other mining permit requests” and “follow the letter of the law in ensuring we are protecting our environment.”

March 24, 2009 – AP picks up story stating “The Environmental Protection Agency is putting on hold hundreds of mountaintop coal-mining permits”. Hundreds of news outlets pick up the story. Coal industry freaks out.

March 24, 2009 – Lisa Jackson’s press secretary Adora Andy “clarifies” by releasing a statement that said “The Environmental Protection Agency is not halting, holding or placing a moratorium on any of the mining permit applications. Plain and simple.” “…the agency does not expect problems with the overwhelming majority of permits”. (see statement here…)

March 25, 2009 – Senator Rockefeller (D-WV) threatens EPA stating “Let me make very clear – America has over a 200 year history of mining West Virginia coal, and that is not going to change any time soon….reports suggesting that the EPA’s recent letters are the end of [mountaintop removal] coal mining are inaccurate and unhelpful.”

May 6, 2009 – West Virginia Governor Manchin flies to regional headquarters in Philadelphia to bully EPA officials on behalf of Consolidated Coal Company to ensure Buffalo Mountain permit is not stopped. (see EPA’s original position above, Jan 20)

May 14, 2009 – EPA’s national manager for water programs sends submissive letter to Congressman Rahall promising 42 out of 48 valley fill permits reviewed were cleared for approval.

May 15, 2009 – Congressman Rahall (D-WV) releases press statement congratulating himself for his successful lobbying efforts on behalf of the coal industry.

May 15, 2009 – EPA responds to Rahall’s announcement: “EPA decided not to provide additional comments on the remaining 42 permits after consideration of the nature and extent of project impacts. 28 of the projects have two or fewer valley fills….None have more than six.”
(Yes, you read that right. The EPA has determined that 14 permits, some with as many as 6 valley fills on a single permit – in an area that is already ravaged by massive flooding, dangerous air quality, landslides and toxic surface and well water from mountaintop removal – will not have a significant impact on the area residents or ecosystem.)

May 28, 2009 – The coal lobby sends letter to congress asking them to push through almost 200 pending Mountaintop Removal/valley fill permits. They also ask congress to “fix” the regulatory system so no more of their permits are stopped or delayed.

June 1, 2009 – Eight members of the House of Representatives sign on to a reworded version of the coal lobby letter and send it to US Army Corps Brigadier General John Peabody pressuring him to push the permits through.

June 10, 2009 – The Obama administration files a notice that they will appeal a recent federal court ruling that would have blocked nationwide, streamlined mountaintop removal permits (the “just trust us” permits). Streamlined permits were blocked in part because the federal courts found the Army Corps of Engineers were using the permits to allow illegal activity.

June 11, 2009 – The Obama administration issues a press release claiming, “administration officials…are taking unprecedented steps to reduce the environmental impacts” of destroying the ancient mixed mesophytic forests and mountains of Appalachia using millions of pounds per day of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil and then dumping the toxic, heavy metal laden mining waste into the surrounding valleys and streams – causing unprecedented flooding, landslides, sickness, economic ruin and uncompensated property damage to the area residents.

June 16, 2009 -

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington files a complaint against the Department of Homeland Security over Obama’s refusal to release White House visitor logs. The citizens group and MSNBC were denied “records of visits by top coal executives in an effort to learn the extent to which these individuals may have influenced the administration’s energy policy.” The White House visitor logs have twice been determined public record by federal courts under the Freedom of Information Act.