Haslam, TDEC Have No Opinion on Mountaintop Removal

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration won’t weigh in on mountaintop mining legislation that has put state GOP lawmakers and a pro-environment group at odds, reports the Kingsport Times-News.
“We’re sort of neutral on that. … We defer to the legislature on the (mountaintop mining) original bill or amendment,” Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Commissioner Robert Martineau Jr. said of the situation at the Tennessee Environmental Conference on Wednesday.
The bill as introduced by state Sen. Eric Stewart, D-Belvidere, would prohibit TDEC from issuing or renewing a water quality permit that would allow surface coal mining operations to alter any ridge line above 2,000 feet. But GOP state Sen. Mike Bell of Riceville tacked on an amendment adopting the U.S. Department of Interior’s definition of mountaintop removal mining.
GOP lawmakers, including Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey of Blountville, believe the Bell amendment bans mountaintop mining in Tennessee.

One thought on “Haslam, TDEC Have No Opinion on Mountaintop Removal

  1. James Rochelle

    Just what we need from the Governor of the state, a leadership vacuum! Our mountains, our clean water, our future are being blasted away and Bill Haslam and his Commissioner of Environment and Conservation are sorta neutral! Gee, I thought the Governor was a leader…

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