(Washington) -- Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar’s move today to withdraw a Bush Administration rule that allows more waste from mountaintop mining to be dumped in or near small streams was applauded by American Rivers, the nation’s leading river conservation organization.
The Bush Administration’s rule allowed coal mine operators to dump waste into streambeds if that was found to be the cheapest and most convenient disposal option. This approach buries streams vital for clean water supply, natural flood protection, and fish and wildlife habitat, and hurts communities that depend on these streams. Secretary Salazar directed the United States Department of Justice to file a pleading with the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. requesting that the Bush administration rule be vacated
The President of American Rivers, Rebecca Wodder, made the following statement:
“Small mountain streams are the capillaries of our nation’s circulatory system and are a vital source of clean drinking water. We applaud Secretary Salazar for his commitment to protecting these streams and the communities that depend on them.”
“Water is life, and nothing is more fundamental to the health and well-being of our communities. In an era of climate change, small streams and clean water will need more protection, not less. Today’s announcement by Secretary Salazar is a bold step in a new direction – a step that signals that the Obama Administration understands and will protect the important role that rivers play in the lives of America’s communities.”
American Rivers is the leading organization working to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Since 1973, American Rivers has fought to preserve these connections, helping protect and restore more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual release of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 100,000 supporters, members, and volunteers nationwide. Visit www.americanrivers.org, www.facebook.com/americanrivers and www.twitter.com/americanrivers.