Media Releases

Obama’s new oil & gas air pollution rule is a step forward for climate & communities


May 12, 2016

Today, the Obama administration finalized the first national standard to cut methane pollution from new and modified sources of oil and gas production. The rule will also cut associated pollution emitted with methane: volatile organic compounds like benzene, a carcinogen.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, methane

Earthworks Welcomes Two New Board Directors


May 9, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earthworks, an international organization that campaigns to protect communities from the negative impacts of resource extraction, announces the addition of two distinguished experts to its Board of Directors.

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Groups Sue EPA Over Dangerous Drilling and Fracking Waste

Earthworks | NRDC | Environmental Integrity Project

May 4, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A coalition of community and environmental organizations filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today calling for regulations to stop oil and gas companies from disposing and handling drilling and fracking wastes in ways that threaten public health and the environment.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, waste, lawsuit, rcra

Colorado Supreme Court Strips the Constitutional Right To Enact Local Fracking Bans

Earthworks and partners

May 2, 2016

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Tagged with: fracking, colorado, ban

After years of public input, important step taken to protect health and the environment

Earthworks et. al.

April 21, 2016

Harrisburg, PA – Environmental and citizen groups representing hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians welcomed today’s decision by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) to move revised oil and gas regulations toward final passage and implementation.

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Tagged with: fracking, pennsylvania, chapter 78

Independent Regulatory Review Commission vote on oil and gas regulations

Earthworks et. al.

April 19, 2016

For too long, oil and gas operators in Pennsylvania have conducted their activities under outdated regulations and limited oversight—factors that have helped spur ever-growing impacts on water, air, health, and communities.

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Tagged with: fracking, pennsylvania, chapter 78

Peruvian farmer wins 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize for fighting world's 2nd largest gold miner to a standstill


April 18, 2016

Cajamarca, Peru & San Francisco, CA -- Peruvian farmer Máxima Acuña de Chaupe today won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for her ongoing fight to protect her home and community from the Conga mine. The announcement came as Newmont (NYSE: NEM) removed its proposed Conga gold mine in northern Peru from its list of reserves in its annual filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  

“We are happy that Newmont has finally faced facts and abandoned Conga,” said 2016 Goldman Prize winner Máxima Acuña de Chaupe, who has been embroiled in a struggle with the multinational mining company for control of her land. She continued, “The fact is our way of life, and the clean water we need to sustain it, is more important to us than Newmont’s new gold mine ever could be. We know from Newmont’s Yanacocha mine that, no matter their promises, we can’t have both the mine and our way of life.”

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Tagged with: gold mining, peru, newmont, fpic, conga, goldman prize, maxima

Conservationists Take Legal Action to Protect Wilderness Rivers and Wildlife Threatened by Proposed Montanore Mine in Northwest Montana

Earthworks | Clark Fork Coalition | Save Our Cabinets

April 4, 2016

Missoula, MT – A coalition of conservation groups have filed suit to protect wilderness rivers and streams and threatened bull trout from the dewatering effects of the proposed Montanore Mine, a massive copper and silver mine that would excavate for ore under the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness in northwestern Montana. The lawsuit was filed in federal district court in Missoula.

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Tagged with: mining, montana, lawsuit, montanore

Obama Announces Interagency Task Force on Natural Gas Storage Sites

April 1, 2016

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Tagged with: natural gas, methane, energy department, phmsa, aliso canyon, underground storage

Water groups ask state supreme court invalidate evisceration of oil and gas pit

Earthworks et. al.

March 25, 2016

SANTA FE, NM — Yesterday, groups working to protect New Mexico’s water resources and wildlife asked the state Supreme Court to review the Martinez Administration’s “Pit Rule”. The Rule governs the storage and disposal of wastes at oil and gas drilling pits in New Mexico.

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Tagged with: fracking, new mexico, pit rule

New Analysis: Ignoring best practices, four BC/Alaska transboundary mines risk repeating Mount Polley disaster

Earthworks | MiningWatch Canada | Rivers Without Borders

March 22, 2016

In the midst of deliberations over the British Columbia Mining Code, an international coalition today released, Post-Mount Polley: Tailings Dam Safety in British Columbia, a new analysis revealing that four major BC mine projects in the Alaska/British Columbia transboundary region fail to implement the recommendations of the Mount Polley expert panel, risking similar mine waste containment disasters. The Mount Polley mine disaster, considered the worst mine disaster in Canadian history, occurred in August 2014, releasing over 25 million cubic meters of mine waste into the Fraser River watershed.

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Tagged with: mining, alaska, tailings, canada, mount polley, transboundary

Obama starts process to protect community health from existing oil and gas air pollution


March 10, 2016

“With today’s announcement, President Obama starts to get serious about oil and gas methane pollution.

Prior to this announcement, his Administration has largely focused on pollution from yet-to-be-built oil and gas facilities. This announcement is of enormous importance because it deals with the main problem - existing facilities.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, pollution, methane, existing sources

Good Samaritan helps, but only 1872 Mining Law Reform will clean up 500,0000 abandoned mines

March 2, 2016

Statement of Earthworks Executive Director regarding tomorrow’s hearing before Senate Environment and Public Works Committe

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Tagged with: abandoned mines, good samaritan, senate, testimony, environment and public works

State and Federal Agencies Approve Mine Underneath Cabinet Mountains Wilderness in Northwest Montana

Earthworks, Earthjustice et. al.

February 12, 2016

HELENA, MT --- State and federal agencies today approved the Montanore copper-silver mine proposed underneath the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness in northwest Montana’s Kootenai National Forest. The mine project planned by Mines Management Inc. (NYSE-MARKET: MGN) will disturb more than 1,500 acres adjacent to the Wilderness and remove up to 120 million tons of ore from tunnels that extend underneath it. Despite the Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s (MDEQ) Record of Decision admitting that the full mine project will violate state water quality law, the Forest Service has nevertheless approved the full mine.

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Tagged with: mining, montana, montanore

Crooksville gas leak shows need for U.S. EPA to issue comprehensive oil and gas methane standards

Earthworks, Ohio Environmental Council, et al

February 3, 2016

On Monday night, hundreds of residents living in Crooksville, Ohio were evacuated from their homes when a natural gas transmission line spewed methane into the air near their village. Residents within a half mile radius of the leak were ordered to leave their homes and take up shelter at Crooksville High School.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, ohio, methane

Court Orders Environmental Protection Agency to Finalize Rules so Polluters Pay for Their Own Toxic Messes

Earthworks, Earthjustice et. al.

January 29, 2016

WASHINGTON D.C. — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to stop letting polluters off the financial hook for contamination they caused. The judges directed the EPA to finalize long-awaited “financial assurance” regulations that will first apply to metal (hard rock) mining and other industries.

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Tagged with: mining, lawsuit, cercla, cercla 108b

Earthworks statement on the Interior Department's Methane and Waste Reduction Rule

January 22, 2016

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Tagged with: blm, methane, interior department, lauren pagel, climate, oil and gas pollution, obama administration

Pennsylvania action on rules to cut methane pollution will help public health, address climate change

Earthworks, CATF, Sierra Club, NRDC

January 19, 2016

(Washington, D.C. – January 19, 2016)  National environmental advocacy groups today expressed gratitude to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf for acting on climate as he previewed rules that will cut methane pollution from the state's oil and gas sector. Pennsylvania, as the second largest natural gas producing state in the U.S., is a significant contributor of the man-made methane pollution that is warming the planet at an alarming rate as it worsens the state's already-poor air quality.

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Tagged with: fracking, pennsylvania, pennsylvania department of environmental protection, methane

As world gathers in Paris, 125+ groups call for strict limits on U.S. oil & gas methane pollution

December 2, 2015

Washington, D.C., Dec 2 -- Today 128 groups sent a letter to the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency calling for stricter limits and stronger standards for methane pollution from oil and gas development. On Sep 18, the EPA proposed a Methane Pollution Standard to cut methane pollution from new and modified sources as part the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, oil and gas, regulation, methane, gina mccarthy, letter

At BHP Billiton shareholder meeting, protesters demand justice for Brazilian mining disaster victims

Earthworks, Greenpeace Brazil, Greenpeace Australia

November 18, 2015

Perth, Australia, Nov 19 – Greenpeace protesters today disrupted BHP Billiton’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) to demand justice for the thousands of victims of the mining waste spill that destroyed the historic Brazilian town of Mariana in Minas Gerais state. The Germano iron mine, whose tailings (waste) dam failed on November 5th, is operated by Samarco - a joint venture co-owned by Australia-based BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company, and Brazil-based Vale S.A, one of the world’s five largest mining companies.

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Tagged with: mining, brazil, tailings dam failure

President Obama Rejects the Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline


November 6, 2015

“Today the environmental community is cheering. Organizations and individuals from across the country came together to demand President Obama reject the Keystone XL pipeline, and today our voices were recognized.

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Tagged with: tar sands, nokxl, pipelines

Fatal Brazilian mine waste disaster shows modern mining is increasingly dangerous

Earthworks and Center for Science in Public Participation

November 6, 2015

Washington, D.C. -- A mine waste dam at the Germano open-pit iron ore mine in Brazil’s state of Minas Gerais breached yesterday, flooding the downstream area with mining waste and causing fatalities. The Germano facility is co-owned by two of the world’s largest mining companies, Brazilian Vale SA and Anglo-Australian BHP Billiton.

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Tagged with: mining, tailings, brazil, failure, dam

Statement from Earthworks Executive Director Jennifer Krill


November 5, 2015

“We thank Senators Udall, Heinrich, Bennet, Wyden, Markey and others for introducing legislation to reform the 1872 Mining Law.

If this bill had been law before the Gold King Mine waste disaster the Animas River might never have been polluted, and downstream communities in Colorado and New Mexico might never have suffered.

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Tagged with: mining, 1872, mining law reform, animas

Fracking-Harmed Residents Travel to Washington, D.C. to Call On EPA to Stop Ignoring Its Own Science on Water Pollution

Earthworks and Food & Water Watch

October 28, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today residents from communities across the country with fracking contaminated drinking water joined with advocates at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board public meetings to demand that EPA stop ignoring its own evidence of fracking water pollution, and correct the faulty declaration that the agency did “not find evidence that [fracking has] led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources”.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, water pollution

EPA to Propose New Rule Requiring Hundreds of Natural Gas Processing Plants to Start Reporting Toxic Pollution

Earthworks et al.

October 27, 2015

Washington, D.C. – In response to a petition and lawsuit by environmental and open government organizations, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will propose regulations requiring natural gas processing plants to start reporting the toxic chemicals they release.

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Tagged with: natural gas, toxics, tri

EPA final ozone rule helpful but insufficient for fracking-impacted communities

October 1, 2015

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Tagged with: epa, regulation, air pollution, ozone

World’s first deep sea mining proposal ignores consequences of its impacts on oceans

Earthworks, Deep Sea Mining Campaign et. al.

September 28, 2015

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Tagged with: mining, nautilus, deep sea mining, solwara 1

Texas Scientists, Communities, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, Speak Out for Strong Rules to Reduce Harmful Methane Pollution from Oil and Gas Activity

Earthworks et al

September 23, 2015

DALLAS, Tex -- Sept 23 -- Today, faith leaders, scientists, and community members told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency why strong federal rules are needed to protect human health and the climate from oil and gas development’s air pollution. EPA held a hearing today at City Hall to collect public comments on its proposal to reduce methane and associated air pollution from oil and gas activity.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, texas, methane

Congress needs to address real culprit of Animas River mine spill, 1872 Mining Law


September 16, 2015

“Blaming the EPA for the Animas River mine waste disaster is like blaming the fire department for kicking down your door to put out your house fire. After you ignored the fire marshal’s warnings. And cut the fire department’s budget.

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Tagged with: mining, epa, 1872, animas

Climate Coalition Calls on President Obama to Halt Fossil Fuel Leasing on Public Lands, Oceans

September 15, 2015

WASHINGTON — A coalition of more than 400 organizations and leaders will deliver a historic letter to the White House  on Tuesday calling on President Obama to stop new federal fossil fuel leasing on public lands and oceans in the United States.

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Tagged with: fossil fuels

Statement of Earthworks Policy Director, Lauren Pagel, on Sep 8 House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Hearing regarding the Gold King Mine/Animas River disaster


September 9, 2015

"Blaming the EPA for the Animas River mine waste disaster is like blaming the fire department for kicking down your door to put out your house fire. After you ignored the fire marshal’s warnings. And cut the fire department’s budget."

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Tagged with: mining, epa, abandoned mines, 1872, animas

In response to the Court of Appeals request that the Colorado Supreme Court hear the Longmont fracking ban case, the groups intervening in the case—Our Longmont, Food & Water Watch, Sierra Club and Earthworks—issued the following statement

Earthworks, Our Longmont, Food & Water Watch, Sierra Club

August 19, 2015

"We applaud the court for recognizing the legitimacy of Longmont's democratically enacted ban on fracking, the depth of public interest and concern, and the need for re-examining prior Supreme Court rulings on this issue.  It is exceptionally rare for the Appellate Court to kick a decision up to the Supreme Court due to the profound implications of its decision. 

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Tagged with: fracking, colorado, longmont

New Oil & Gas Development Methane Standard Welcomed by Fracking-Impacted Residents, Enviros


August 18, 2015

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, air pollution, methane

Senator Martin Heinrich announces 1872 Mining Law reform bill introduction


August 14, 2015

“We applaud Senator Heinrich’s focus on the root cause of Colorado’s Animas River mine disaster -- the antiquated 1872 Mining Law. When he introduces his bill this fall, we will take a step towards finally creating a dedicated fund to clean up the half million old mines that plague the West. Mining law reform will ensure that other communities do not have to endure the tragedy that Colorado, New Mexico and Utah are currently living.

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Tagged with: mining, 1872 mining law, senate, 1872, animas river

Toxic mine waste spill into Animas River symptom of larger problem

Earthworks, San Juan Citizens Alliance, INFORM

August 11, 2015

A toxic mining waste spill near Durango, Colorado spewed 3 million gallons of contaminated wastewater from the Gold King mine near Silverton into the Animas River last Wednesday.

“Last week’s tragic mining waste spill damaged wildlife, critical drinking water sources, tourism and agriculture for communities all along the Animas and San Juan rivers,” said Dan Olson, Executive Director of the San Juan Citizens Alliance. “While we need to address the immediate impacts of this disaster, we also need action to address the thousands of inactive mines across Colorado.”

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Tagged with: mining, 1872 mining law, 1872, animas river

Clean Power Plan takes much needed first step toward transition to renewables


August 3, 2015

“We applaud President Obama’s commitment to tackling climate change. The shifts that have been made in the final Clean Power Plan to encourage renewables and energy efficiency over natural gas represent the kind of change the US needs,” said Jennifer Krill, Earthworks Executive Director. “Any support for dirty fossil fuels like fracked oil and gas threatens our health and climate.”

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Tagged with: epa, climate change, obama, clean power plan

Forest Service Issues Mixed Decision on Montanore Mine Objections

Save Our Cabinets | Clark Fork Coalition | Earthworks

July 23, 2015

MISSOULA, MT (July 23, 2015) – In its response to concerns raised by conservation groups and local landowners about the Montanore Mine in northwest Montana, the Regional Office of the U.S. Forest Service yesterday acknowledged that there are numerous and serious deficiencies in the agency’s environmental review of the copper-silver mine proposed for development underneath the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness. 

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Tagged with: mining, montana, forest service, montanore

Conservation Groups File Lawsuit to Protect Idaho’s Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness from Needlessly Destructive Mining Activities

Earthworks et al

July 7, 2015

Boise, ID – Conservationists filed a lawsuit today against a mining company’s plan to deploy bulldozers, dump trucks and drilling rigs miles inside the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, calling the proposed plan needlessly destructive to this nationally treasured landscape.

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Tagged with: mining, idaho, golden hand

BC & Alaska indigenous leaders attending Seabridge Gold shareholder meeting to protest risky mine plan

Earthworks, MiningWatch Canada, United Tribal Transboundary Mining Working Group

June 24, 2015

Toronto, June 24 - British Columbia and Alaska indigenous leaders today are calling upon Seabridge Gold’s leadership and investors to prevent more disasters like Mount Polley. Seabridge Gold (TSX:SEA)(NYSE:SA) is a junior mining company proposing what would be North America’s largest open pit mine near British Columbia’s northwest border with Alaska. The mine is located under an active glacier, as well as upstream from major salmon fishing waters and the Misty Fjords National Monument, a popular tourist destination.

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Tagged with: indigenous, investor risk, miningwatch canada, agm, ksm, seabridge

UT study shows widespread groundwater pollution from fracking chemicals


June 17, 2015

Peer-reviewed analysis released day after HB40 forces Denton City Council to yield fracking oversight to state

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, water pollution, texas

Coalition Sues Federal Agency to Protect Threatened Bull Trout, Grizzly Bears from Montanore Mine in Northwest Montana

Earthworks, Earthjustice et al

June 17, 2015

MISSOULA, Mont.—A coalition of conservation groups filed suit today to protect bull trout and grizzly bears from a massive mine proposal in the heart of some of the last remaining undeveloped habitat for these species in northwest Montana. The lawsuit challenges the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision that the proposed Montanore copper and silver mine would not jeopardize the survival or recovery of bull trout and grizzly bears, which are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

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Tagged with: mining, montana, montanore, endangered species act, cabinet mountains wilderness

New analysis questions economic feasibility of KSM mine on Canada/US border

Earthworks et al

June 17, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – A report released today identifies unprecedented risks associated with the Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell (KSM) mine proposed in northwest British Columbia near the Alaska border. Seabridge Gold's KSM Project Risk Analysis details a mounting list of challenges facing the controversial project in the weeks leading up to the company’s annual shareholder meeting on June 24, 2015.

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Tagged with: mining, investor risk, ksm, seabridge

Statement of Earthworks Executive Director Jennifer Krill on today’s introduction of the FRESHER Act


June 11, 2015

Washington, D.C. -- "Earthworks salutes Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) for introducing the FRESHER act today, legislation that would help protect public health by closing loopholes in federal environmental oversight of the oil and gas industry.

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Tagged with: fracking, clean water act, congress, loopholes

EPA study reveals fracking pollutes water


June 4, 2015

Washington DC -- In a watershed moment, today EPA announced fracking does pollute drinking water with the release of  the draft final version of its study of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources. Congress commissioned the study in 2010 in response to increasing public questions about the risks posed to drinking water by the unconventional oil and gas boom.

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Tagged with: fracking, epa, water pollution, science

Coalition of Conservation Groups Seek to Defend Bureau of Land Management’s New Fracking Rules

Earthworks, Earthjustice et al

June 2, 2015

Denver, CO — A coalition of six conservation groups moved to defend the Bureau of Land Management’s new hydraulic fracturing rules against legal challenges by the oil and gas industry and the States of Wyoming, North Dakota and Colorado. The conservation groups, represented by Earthjustice, filed motions to intervene in two lawsuits pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming late Monday afternoon.

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Tagged with: fracking, regulation, blm

Federal Judge Hears Oral Arguments on Pebble Mine Proposal Case

Earthworks, Nunamta Aulukestai

May 28, 2015

(Anchorage, AK; Washington DC) Today, the U.S. District Court in Anchorage, Alaska heard oral arguments on a lawsuit filed by the Pebble Limited Partnership that alleged that the EPA violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act when it made its decision to restrict mine waste disposal in Bristol Bay under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act. Judge Holland started the proceedings by noting that his decision dismissing Pebble’s challenge to EPA’s Clean Water Act authority had been affirmed by the Ninth Circuit.

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Tagged with: mining, epa, bristol bay, pebble, court case, nunamta aulukestai, faca

Congress to Obama administration: prevent mine waste disasters


May 19, 2015

Washington, D.C., May 18 -- Today Representatives Grijalva (D-AZ-3) and Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47) sent a letter to the directors of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) urging them to act on the lessons of the Mount Polley mine waste disaster, and take immediate action to investigate threats posed by mine waste dams and impoundments in the United States.

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Tagged with: mining, tailings, tailings dam, mt polley

Texas Governor signs HB40 into law, guts community rights

Earthworks | Denton Drilling Awareness Group | Earthjustice | Natural Resources Defense Council

May 18, 2015

Austin, TX - Today Texas Governor Abbott signed HB 40 into law. Written by former ExxonMobil lawyer Shannon Ratliff, the statute forces every Texas municipality wanting common sense limits on oil and gas development to demonstrate its rules are “commercially reasonable”. It effectively overturns a Denton ballot initiative banning fracking that passed last November.

“HB 40 was written by the oil and gas industry, for the oil and gas industry, to prevent voters from holding the oil and gas industry accountable for its impacts,” said Earthworks’ Texas organizer Sharon Wilson. Wilson, who played a key role in the Denton ballot initiative, continued, “It was the oil and gas industry’s contempt for impacted residents that pushed Denton voters to ban fracking in the first place. And now the oil and gas industry, through state lawmakers, has doubled down by showing every city in Texas that same contempt.”

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Tagged with: fracking, texas, ban, local control, hb40

Senate Energy Cmte to hear BLM fracking rule creates minimum & necessary standard


April 30, 2015

“The oil and gas industry claims that western states regulation of hydraulic fracturing is more than adequate and therefore the proposed BLM fracking rule is duplicative. This is unfortunately not true."

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Tagged with: fracking, regulation, blm, hearing, states, senate energy and natural resources, bruce baizel

Health professionals elected officials and impacted residents urge Governor Cuomo and state agencies to evaluate cumulative health impacts of shale gas development

Earthwork et al

April 27, 2015

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Tagged with: fracking, new york, shale gas, health, impacts

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