EPA’s Harsh Plan Will Destroy Jobs

Editor, News-Register:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released new water quality standards for coal mining permits across Appalachia in a move that threatens thousands of jobs and the economic future of the Appalachian region. The EPA policy guidelines announcement is as dangerous and threatening an action as this region has ever seen from the federal government.

Essentially, the EPA has set standards for water quality from mining sites that are unattainable – virtually eliminating coal mining of any kind in Appalachia. The impacts of this new policy were made clear by Administrator Jackson when she said, “You’re talking about no, or very few, valley fills that are going to meet this standard,” (Washington Post, April 2, 2010).

The new policy extends far beyond impacting surface mining. Most underground mines can’t meet this new conductivity standard, which will have a devastating impact on jobs across West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. The new EPA water standards are so strict that many job-critical industries and activities also can’t meet the new water standard – including highway construction, housing developments, industrial parks, sewage treatment facilities, electrical generating plants.

In these uncertain economic times, we can not afford the federal government to take actions that will have such a significant impact on jobs in our region.

Eric Mena