Posted on | June 29, 2009 | No Comments
FOR THOSE wondering about whether there is recourse to the Supreme Court’s Coeur Alaska ruling last Monday, there is.
The decision, which by a 6-3 vote upheld the legality of dumping gold mine waste into Lower Slate Lake in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, “can be undone in one of two ways,” said Ed Hopkins, Director of Sierra Club Environmental Quality Program. “One is the Obama administration could issue a rule-making and overturn a rule that the Bush administration did in 2002, which essentially created this problem. Or Congress can pass the the Clean Water Protection Act, which would also overturn the 2002 Bush administration rule.”
The Clean Water Protection Act would return the definition of “fill” to its original meaning (ie: not including pollutants), but it has been stymied in the past by advocates of mountain top removal mining in Appalachia. Last Thursday a Senate Subcommittee resumed hearings on the issue.
To read a blistering New York Times editorial on the Supreme Court decision, click here. For a Sierra Club review, click here. Then, if you’re as mad as the author of the New York Times editorial is, write your congressional delegates and the White House. For a Sierra Club primer on how to do that, click here.