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AZ Federal Court Saves Grand Canyon from Uranium Mining

By Aaron Mintzes

April 1, 2013

In part two of our two part series on Federal court decisions that favored the environment over the interests of hardrock mining, we now turn to the United States District Court of Arizona. Recall in the first installment of this series, a Federal Appeals Court in San Francisco held just two weeks ago that the Endangered Species Act trumps the antiquated General Mining Law of 1872. So, before miners use their suction dredge techniques to destroy the habitat of a protected species, they must first consult with the right government biologists. This week, we look at a case out of Arizona where corporate interests seek to mine the Grand Canyon. Really.

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Did this Range Resources VP lie under oath

By Sharon Wilson

March 25, 2013

Back in the Dark Ages, I took Legal and Social Issues in Business at Texas Christian University. I consistently received the highest grades in the class, wrecked the curve and got an A. I dig that stuff. Then I got pregnant with my first son, which kept me out of night school for a long time.

Much later, I was certified to serve as a court appointed mediator a fact that seemed to bewilder Andy Sims, attorney for Range Resources, who deposed me. He clearly did not believe me so I am providing a photo.

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Court Rules Endangered Species Act Trumps 1872 Mining Law

By Aaron Mintzes

March 25, 2013

It’s been a good week courtside for mining reform. Reform advocates scored two important victories this week from our government’s judicial branch. On March 18, the United States Supreme Court let stand a decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declaring that the Endangered Species Act trumps the 1872 Mining Law. And in Arizona, a US District Court judge upheld the decision of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to withdrawal 1 million acres of land near the Grand Canyon from mining. More on the latter in an upcoming post.

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Memorable Moment #2: the Protection of the Valle Vidal

By Alan Septoff

March 22, 2013

We are celebrating our 25th year since our founding by marking 25 of our most memorable moments protecting communities and the since Earthworks was founded in 1988.

New Mexico’s Valle Vidal is one of our nation’s truly special places. The Valle Vidal, which means “living valley,” is located in the lush Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico between Cimarron and Costilla. It is often referred to as New Mexico’s “Yellowstone”. This 100,000 acre paradise inside Carson National Forest is a crucial watershed and home to a wide range of wildlife such as mountain lions, bears, turkeys, cutthroat trout, and the largest elk herd in New Mexico. It is a critical winter habitat for these wild animals as well.

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DEP should answer questions, serve all of the public

By Nadia Steinzor

March 19, 2013

Joint statement by Berks Gas Truth, Karen Feridun, Founder; Clean Water Action, Steve Hvozdovich, Marcellus Shale Policy Associate; Cross County Citizens Clean Air Coalition, Rebecca Roter, Coordinator; Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director; Earthworks’ OGAP, Nadia Steinzor, Eastern Program Coordinator; Lehigh Valley Gas Truth, Julie Edgar, Organizer; Mountain Watershed Association, Beverly Braverman, Executive Director; PennEnvironment, Erika Staaf, Clean Water Advocate; Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air, Jenny Lisak, Co-director; Protecting Our Waters, Iris Marie Bloom, Director; Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter, Thomas Au, Conservation Chair.


As spring approaches, Pennsylvania residents still don’t have answers from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to specific questions about how their water quality and health might be impacted by natural gas development—questions that were first raised last fall and posed again over the winter (and which have been ignored over many years of gas development). Instead, DEP Secretary Krancer persists in making general statements and attacking the messenger, in this case environmental and citizens organizations seeking information on behalf of citizens regarding protocols for testing contaminants in residential water wells; the scientific basis for determining which parameters to test for (and not); how decisions are made in the field and at DEP offices in response to homeowners’ concerns; and the number of cases in which only partial testing results have been provided to homeowners.

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