As a concerned citizen and member of Earthjustice [www.earthjustice.org] an environmental action group, 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.
There are two things our nation's leaders must do right 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 impacts 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.