Princeton Water Watch

Hold the Champagne
March 26, 2009, 9:58 pm
Filed under: In the Press...



mountain-top-removal1In a false alarm that excited many environmentalists, the E.P.A. was thought to have frozen all (200 or so) permits surrounding mountaintop removal mining. Unfortunately, Lisa Jackson had simply sent out two letters of concern to the Army Corps of Engineers regarding the practice’s negative environmental impact. The Huffington Post reported the freeze, which was exchanged on listserves and by word of mouth, and would have been cause for celebration, had it not been quickly clarified.

For those of you who don’t know, mountaintop removal is a way of mining coal that does just that, chops a thousand feet off the top of the mountain and throws it in the river. This has serious, long-term impacts on the community and environment, from drastically harming the biodiversity of the waterways and mountain to millions of gallons of sludge that remain. Proponents of this method talk about the high-paying jobs and tax dollars it brings, which usually overpower voices of concern about the mine’s impact on the health of their town and the environment. 

Princeton University received a “D” on the Green Report Card for endowment transparency. There has been recent concern about workers rights at HEI Hotels and Resorts (not to mention Russell Athletics) and its link to mining operations has been questioned by some students. With so much support for creating a sustainable campus, we should make sure we don’t have any sludge on our hands.



For more information about the E.P.A.’s letters to the Army Corps of Engineers, visit:

To see Princeton’s grade on the “Green Report Card”, visit:


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