Black Mesa mine complex.Black Mesa mine complex. © 2010 Google
Updated: Tuesday, 30 Mar 2010, 9:29 AM MDT
Published : Tuesday, 30 Mar 2010, 9:29 AM MDT
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - The period to comment on a water discharge permit for a controversial coal mining operation in northern Arizona has been extended.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is giving the public 30 additional days, or until April 30, to provide comment on the proposed permit for Peabody Energy's Black Mesa mine complex.
The EPA withdrew the permit late last year after an appeal by environmentalists, who contended the discharge of heavy metals and pollutants threatens water sources for nearby tribal communities.
The EPA says the proposed permit will help ensure that water quality standards are met. The agency says the permit also would include new requirements for reclaimed mine areas, and plans to control sediment and seepage from stormwater treatment ponds.
(The mine complex is located on Navajo and Hopi lands about 20 miles southwest of Kayenta, Ariz.)
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To: Environmental Protection Agency Office of Inspector General
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue,N.W. (2410T) Washington, DC 20460
Phone:202.566.2391 Fax:202.566.2549 Email: email@example.com
From: Sharon L. Kitchen (founder) Save the Sacred Sites
P.O. Box 324
Townsend, Ga. 31331
Re: Public Notice#: AZ-10-W-001A (open until 4/30/10) Peabody Western Coal Co., Black Mesa Complex, P.O. Box 650 , Kayenta, AZ 86004
Contact: John Tinger,415.972.3518/ Tinger.John@EPA.gov
To whom it may concern,
I write this letter today with great concerns over this permit to Peabody Western Coal. In fact all of Peabody Coals activity, no matter what state they operate in. Especially if they are on Native lands.
I understand that the EPA withdrew this permit last year after an appeal by environmentalists who were concerned over the discharge of heavy metals and pollutants threatening water sources for nearby tribal communities. I also understand that the EPA says the proposed permit will help ensure that water quality standards are met. Also the "new" permit would have new requirements for reclaimed mine area and plans to control sediment and seepage from storm water treatment ponds. All this sounds great, but Peabody does not have a wonderful record.
The Black Mesa/ Kayenta mine has operated since the early 1970's and is located on approximately 65,000 acres of land leased within the boundaries of the Hopi and Navajo Nations. This permit would allow storm water to be dumped into all type of waters. This water is life giving. It brings life to plants, animals and humans. Water from mines are contaminated and bring death. No matter how good the intentions are how great the plan, there is always human accidents. They cause harm. Requirements sound good, but put into hands like the type of Peabody Coal, they will not be followed. Peabody Coal has a horrible track record, when it comes to Native Peoples and their health.
I know that the history of "using" /"taking" lands of Native Peoples is something that Peabody Coal is very good at. It is on file that the Mormon Church's head deacon and lawyer in the 1970's worked very hard at such practices. It was finally drafted into a bill by Sen. John McCain in 1997. After it was quietly signed into law, the Dine’ were forcefully removed and put on a "toxic-radio-active" dump called the Rio Puerco. In 2000 they took their films of their "survival" to the U.N. where they showed the World leaders and told them of their fight to survive. The leaders were horrified at what they saw. The words, Human Rights Abuse come to mind.
The Native Peoples have suffered enough. They need their lands unspoiled. They need to be in charge of "their" lands.
I and my husband have many Native people in our family. Many live out West. Many live all over the US. We are very concerned for the well being of all Native Peoples. Please do NOT allow this horrible coal company any more rights to destroy!!!!! !
Thank you for your time,
Sharon L. Kitchen