A recent National Mining Association (NMA) report is critical of new EPA guidance targeting surface coal mining permits. According to the report, EPA exaggerated the distribution and significance of mayfly populations, and by doing so, exaggerated the impact of mountaintop coal mining on ecosystems.
The report also asserts that EPA’s guidance assumptions about the utility of measuring stream conductivity as a proxy for dissolved solids in stream water are not supported by field evidence. The report concludes that EPA’s guidance, which was based to some extent on EPA studies of the relationship between conductivity and aquatic insects, is based on false assumptions. NMA has sued EPA over the guidance, alleging “enhanced coordination” of permitting approvals by EPA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation, and Enforcement. NMA v. Jackson, No. 10-1220 (D.D.C. 9/17/10).