Sunday, March 18, 2007

New Strip Mine Permit Issued

OSM Issues Permit to 10 Mile Strip Mine (Buckeye Springs Mine 2)

OSM has issued the SMCRA permit for Buckeye Springs Mine 2, a ten mile long contour strip mine in Claiborne County, TN. The mine is a continuation of Buckeye Springs Mine 1, which is the contour strip portion of the Horseshoe Mountain, mountaintop removal mine. The mine will destroy numerous streams and wetlands, as well as forests and rock houses, and it will add to the impact of the already permitted 8,000 acres of mines in the area that are either still active or have not achieved bond release. OSM itself identified the possibility of a major flood from all of the mining in the area and admits that this mine will only exacerbate the risk. The streams in the area are running brown. Landslides have occurred at other mines in the area and OSM has stated that some of the sediment basins are to be located in extremely acid/ toxic materials. The site is in Indiana Bat habitat. Not only did OSM fail to conduct an EIS on the mine (they've done an EA), they issued the permit before TDEC had issued the water quality permits for the mine (the hearing on those permits is on March 27 at 7 pm at Cove Lake State Park - we'll send the notice out this week).

We intend to sue under the National Environmental Policy Act. If there are lawyers or organizations out there with experience with complex environmental litigation, we would be very grateful for help. Please reply to this email or to ; (preferably both).


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