"Coal operators in Southern West Virginia are not restoring large strip-mining sites to their 'approximate original contour,' despite a state policy change meant to require such reclamation, according to a previously unpublished federal government report."
Mid-Atlantic (DC DE MD PA VA WV)
Fumes from long-ago industrial activity are still seeping into the homes of some Baltimore-area residents. Those fumes include cancer-causing chemicals like trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene. The site was one of the first Superfund cleanups, but the cleanup was not thorough enough.
"The environmental damage caused by mountaintop removal mining across Appalachia has been well documented. But scientists are now beginning to understand that the mining operations’ most lasting damage may be caused by the massive amounts of debris dumped into valley streams."
The cap-and-trade climate bill which is the focus of West Virginia protests is packed with help for the coal industry.
"The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is working to regulate salt discharges that result from natural-gas drilling."
"West Virginia regulators and coal operators have not properly implemented state rules meant to keep strip mining from contributing to flooding during heavy rains over narrow mountain hollows, according to a new federal report."
Rockefeller's bill keeps FOIA exemptions for real security information, but forbids using the "sensitive security information" stamp.
A cooperative effort of federal and state agencies, coal companies, and environmental groups, the database lists coal-waste impoundments in West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
"More than 30 people -- including actress Daryl Hannah and NASA climate scientist James Hansen -- were arrested Tuesday in the latest protest in a growing civil disobedience campaign against mountaintop removal in Southern West Virginia."