Claiming that it secured necessary protections, the Environmental Protection Agency has signed off on President Bush’s proposal to weaken mining regulations. The previous regulation, enacted in 1983, banned waste dumping within 100 feet of a stream or river whose water quality could be adversely affected.
The new regulation calls for some additional safeguards that weren’t supported by Bush, but eliminates mining restrictions and the previous dumping ban. Even with the supposed protections, the proposal has met opposition not just from environmental organizations, but from the American public and head lawmakers in the states that have the biggest stake in the matter.
According to the Sierra Club, 2 out of 3 Americans oppose weakening the regulation. Furthermore, the governors of both Tennessee and Kentucky have spoken out against the proposal, yet the mining industry-backed plan is set to cruise into place this week.
The proposal still must be signed, however, to be enacted. While this is almost a guarantee, taking action could cause a delay. If the proposal does not become a regulation by December 20th, then Obama will have the opportunity to overturn it as soon has he takes office a month later.
It is the hope of the current administration that this will be signed this week, so it is imperative that we contact the EPA as soon as possible. Follow this link to find the phone number for your region.