The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

March 18, 2013

Tribune Readers’ Views — Monday, March 18, 2013

Mountaintop removal mining is dangerous


— As a concerned citizen and mother, I would like to bring to your attention the dangers of mountaintop removal mining and the urgent steps we need to take to protect our nation’s Appalachian Mountains and people, before it is too late.

Mountaintop removal not only destroys and pollutes waterways and eliminates wildlife, but it also affects families’ and communities’ access to clean water and uncontaminated air and seriously threatens their health.

Our government leaders must act now.

First, the president and the Environmental Protection Agency need to follow the robust science and set a strong, binding clean water rule that will prevent the pollution and destruction of waterways by mountaintop removal mining waste.

Second, Congress must pass the Appalachian Community Health Emergency (ACHE) Act, which will thoroughly analyze the impact of mountaintop removal on the health of people who live near it, including the higher rates of birth defects, cancer and early death that have occurred in communities near these mines.

I believe we have an obligation to preserve our national heritage for future generations, including our mountains and vital waterways, and to ensure that Appalachian communities are not bearing the brunt of our nation’s unsustainable energy decisions.

Aimee Rist

Fayetteville