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Posted Sat May 16 2009: from Charleston Gazette:
Obama's EPA clears 42 of 48 new mountaintop removal mining permits
The Obama administration has cleared more than three-dozen new mountaintop removal permits for issuance by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, drawing quick criticism from environmental groups who had hoped the new president would halt the controversial practice. In a surprise announcement Friday, Rep. Nick J. Rahall said 42 of the 48 permits already examined by the U.S. Environmental Protection had been approved by EPA for issuance by the corps. "It is unfortunate that, when EPA once again began reviewing proposed coal mining permits earlier this year, alarmists claimed that a moratorium on permit issuance was being proposed," Rahall said in a telephone news conference. "That was not that case then, and it is not the case now." The West Virginia Democrat is chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, which oversees the federal strip mining law, and represents a district that includes most of the state's southern coal counties.
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