Thursday, February 17, 2011

Streamkiller Bill Passes

The Virginia Senate and House have both passed legislation (SB 1025 and HB 2123) in an attempt to limit federal regulation of mountaintop removal coal mining permits under the Clean Water Act. Governor Bob McDonnell is expected to sign the legislation into law. This legislation takes existing authority away from the citizen water control board and places it solely at the discretion of the Director of the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME). By giving this authority to a single political appointee, we lose the expert guidance during the permitting process by the citizen field experts who sit on the water control board. This maneuver also leaves questions as to its legality since our EPA-approved permitting process gives this authority directly to the board. Senators Ticer, Whipple, McEachin, Petersen, and Marsden stood up for clean water and opposed the Senate bill in committee. Please email your senator today to tell them how you feel about their vote.

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