After Years of State Failure to Protect Critical Waters, Citizens Step Up Actions to Require EPA to Enforce Clean Water Protections in West Virginia and Kentucky
WASHINGTON, D.C. – National and local groups representing Appalachian citizens announced Wednesday that they will push the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in federal court to weigh in on the documented, systematic failure of Kentucky and West Virginia to regulate harmful water pollution from mountaintop removal coal mines.
Wednesday’s separate legal actions come five years after groups first filed formal petitions with the EPA regarding West Virginia and nearly five years after the first petition regarding Kentucky. Those petitions implored the agency to revoke the authority of Kentucky and West Virginia to implement the Clean Water Act in their states, so that EPA could take over in their stead.
Bowing to pressure from the coal industry, the West Virginia and Kentucky clean water programs have failed to prevent the widespread contamination of state waters by coal mines. Citizens in the region have looked to the EPA to step in and protect them from mountaintop removal mining pollution.