The EPA's good news for American rivers

Saturday, April 3, 2010

American Rivers applauds the Environmental Protection Agency for announcing new restrictions on mountaintop removal mining ["Environmental regulations aim to curb mountaining top mining," news story, April 2]. These much-needed guidelines, which set water-quality standards for Clean Water Act permits for mining operations in Appalachian states, will help protect the region's rivers at their source.

Mountaintop removal mining causes irreparable damage to the environment and communities. It endangers public health by creating unstable ponds of toxic waste, contaminating drinking water sources and polluting recreational waters with toxins. It also permanently alters the natural topography of mountains, leaving landscapes susceptible to flooding, while burying headwater streams vital to ecosystem and community well-being with mining waste.

Rebecca Wodder, Washington

The writer is president of the advocacy group American Rivers.

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