The U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s independent Science Advisory Board’s first draft review of EPA’s research into mountaintop removal supports the agency’s findings that mountaintop removal negatively affects water quality. "In their draft review, the SAB supports EPA’s scientific research and agrees with EPA’s conclusion that valley fills are associated with increased levels of conductivity (a measure of water pollution for mining practices) in downstream waters, and that these increased levels of conductivity threaten stream life in surface waters," EPA writes in a news release.
"This independent review affirms that EPA is relying on sound analysis and letting science and only science guide our actions to protect human health and the environment," said EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Water, Pete Silva. "We will continue to follow the science and solicit input from all stakeholders as we safeguard water quality and protect the American people." The SAB reviewed EPA’s draft report, "A Field-Based Aquatic Life Benchmark for Conductivity in Central Appalachian Streams," which uses field data to derive an aquatic life benchmark for conductivity.