Environment Activists in Appalachia (USA) are talking about the polluting impact of mountain top coal mining but the economic impact is being considered by the government instead.
The Environment Protection Agency is seeking to ban the practise of mountain top mining in which heavy explosives are used to access coal seams in the Appalachia area.
The rainwater runoff usually takes the leftover debris from the mountain top and pollutes the rivers and streams close by. The EPA has strict water quality standards in place which have been coming in for criticism by the National Mining Association. The NMA feels that the regulations are not based on quantifiable terms.
A study released by the NMA on Thursday said that the EPA researchers in West Virginia did not prove that environmental harm was caused by mountain top mining. It also said that the study by the EPA was based merely on one organism, a type of mayfly. The NMA said that such a narrow case study could be representative of the entire region’s ecology.
The NMA also criticized the data used to set the water quality standards saying that the EPA used inaccurate and unreliable data. This is in violation of the agency’s methodology criteria and many federal laws.