Groups across the coal fields and nation have organized a national call-in day to demand that the Bush Administration not finalize a federal regulation change that would allow mining companies to dump mine wastes and excess rock and earth material into headwater streams and wetlands.
The Bush administration is very close to finalizing a change to Clean Water Act rules that would modify the Army Corps of Engineers' definition of "fill" material to remove a "primary purpose" test that does not allow the filling of valleys with mine wastes and spoil if the intent is waste disposal. The rule was proposed by the Clinton administration to get around a federal court finding that dumping mining rock and earth in "excess spoil fills" violated the Corps regulations. Now, the Army Corps of Engineers and US EPA are trying to change the rules in order to legalize this waste dumping.
KRC commented extensively in opposition to the proposed rule, and after 17,000 comments were received, the former administration shelved the rule change. Now the Bush Administration is proposing to advance the rule. For more background, read the attached KRC comments and background paper on the rule.
What Can You Do? Join the "Call To Action" by calling and leaving messages for two key administration officials. Between 9am and 4 pm EST today, call: Christine Whitman, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 202-546-4700 and James Connaughton, Chairman of the White House's Council on Environmental Quality, 202-456-5147 -- to deliver the message: "Save our waters from fills made of wastes."
1. Not to revise the definition of "fill material" under the Clean Water Act in order to authorize the dumping of waste into our nation's streams, lakes, rivers and wetlands.
2. The Administration MUST reopen this policy change to public comment and conduct an Environmental Impact Statement before deciding to complete this rulemaking