Back in 2010, EarthJustice filed a petition asking that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States roll out a legislation aimed at setting methane emission rules for coal mines up and running all throughout the country.
What the petition was basically asking for was that coal mines in the United States be added to the Clean Air Act and that their activity be regulated so as to improve on their ecological footprint.
Only a few days back, EPA has decided to deny this petition on account of its lacking the resources and the money needed in order to implement the measures listed in it.
Although EPA's Administrator, Bod Perciasepe, had denied the petition on April 30, the Federal Register only published an announcement of the agency's decision this May 8.
“This action provides notice that on April 30, 2013, the Acting EPA Administrator, Bob Perciasepe, signed a letter denying a petition to add coal mines to the Clean Air Act (CAA) section 111 list of stationary source categories,” reads EPA's official statement on this matter.
“The agency denied the petition because the EPA must prioritize its actions in light of limited resources and ongoing budget uncertainties, and at this time, cannot commit to conducting the process to determine whether coal mines should be added to the list of categories under CAA 111(b)(1)(A),” EPA further explains.
According to Environmental Leader, coal mines are currently considered by many to be the fourth largest source of methane emissions in the United States.
Because of this, greenheads were not in the least pleased to hear that EPA had decided to deny this petition and not add coal mines to the Clean Air Act.
The same source informs us that both Rep. Henry Waxman and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse believe that “modest” rules would be more than enough to cut coal mine methane emissions by as much as 24% and thus significantly improve on the industry's ecological footprint.