Shawn Bennett of Ohio Coal provided the following account of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s visit to Columbus last Wednesday.  Administrator Jackson was at the Ohio Statehouse this morning for a press conference to discuss clean diesel grants for retrofitted construction and transit equipment.  In the crowd were probably around 7 protesters of Mountaintop removal.  From what I could tell they were from WV, I saw a shirt with a 304 area code.  They were in the background of Administrators speech holding signs saying “protect the environment not the coal industry” and so on.  At the end of her speech she opened the forum for Q and A.  One of the protesters asked a question regarding the EPA’s position on mountaintop removal.  Her answer was that the Obama Administration has decided to take a closer look at mountaintop removal.  She said there were 48 permits that were pulled and there are only 6 they gives them concern.  The 6 permits that are still being reviewed are being looked at due to the amount of stream length that is affected. 
The person asking the question followed up by asking what about the other 42 permits.  Her answer was that there was nothing scientifically wrong with those permits as far as water quality goes.  The EPA was not there to regulate the coal industry but its effects on water quality.   Administrator Jackson then asked if there were any questions regarding the event and when there were none she ended her presentation.  As a side note, there were more protesters that wanted to questions but were not able.

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