New or expanded mountaintop removal permits would be blocked until the federal government concludes the mining technique is not contributing to increased risks of cancer, birth defects and other health problems among coalfield residents, under legislation proposed in Congress this week.
The bill aims to examine more closely the findings of a series of West Virginia University studies that found residents living near mountaintop removal sites face greater health risks than those who don't.
Thirteen House members co-sponsored the bill, which they dubbed the "Appalachian Communities Health Emergency Act," borrowing from the name citizen activists have given to the issue.
"The Appalachian Communities Health Emergency Act will provide the families in these communities the answers and the protection they deserve," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio.
Kucinich said the bill "will stop new mountaintop removal coal mines until the science clearly demonstrates the mines will not cost these hard-working communities their health or their lives."
TVNL Comment: Contact your legislators and get them to support this vital bill. Click HERE to link to the Appalachian Community Health Emergency (ACHE).