Sending Office: Honorable John A. Yarmuth
Sent By:
Katy.Rowley@mail.house.gov

Protect Coal Mining Communities

Cosponsor the Appalachian Community Health Emergency (ACHE) Act

 

We invite you to be a cosponsor of the Appalachian Community Health Emergency (ACHE) Act. This legislation requires the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct a comprehensive study of the health effects of mountaintop removal mining. It also
places a moratorium on new mountaintop removal mining projects until federal health officials can properly assess those health effects, which are the subject of a new and compelling scientific study. The bill text is identical to the 115th Congress. 

In October 2014, a team of scientists from West Virginia University’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center released the first ever study showing a direct connection between mountaintop removal coal mining dust and increased lung cancer rates. While there has
long been anecdotal evidence to support this conclusion, we now have clear scientific evidence this process jeopardizes the health of coalfield residents.

One peer-reviewed study in Environmental Science found that communities near mountaintop removal mining sites showed elevated levels of birth defects – including circulatory and respiratory problems, and damage to the central nervous system, muscoskeletal
and gastrointestinal systems – when compared with communities surrounding non-MTR mines.

Additionally, an analysis in the journal Science found that in areas near mountaintop removal coal mining sites, “adult hospitalizations for chronic pulmonary disorders and hypertension are elevated as a function of county-level coal production,
as are rates of mortality; lung cancer; and chronic heart, lung, and kidney disease. Health problems are for women and men, so effects are not simply a result of direct occupational exposure of predominantly male coal miners.”

We have a responsibility to ensure access to clean water and clean air, and mountaintop removal threatens our ability to do that. Given the current political changes, we need to be doing all we can to protect our environment. Efforts are already underway
to undermine access to our natural resources and compromise the health of Americans. The ACHE Act is a simple solution to show the direct link between mountaintop removal and the dangerous effects it has on our communities.

The Appalachian Communities Health Emergency Act will provide families in these communities the answers they need and the protection they deserve. That is why we encourage you to protect the health and well-being of Appalachian families by cosponsoring the
ACHE Act. If you would like to become an original cosponsor or have any questions, please contact Katy Rowley in Rep. Yarmuth’s office (Katy.Rowley@mail.house.gov) (55401).

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Energy, Environment, HealthCare, Natural Resources, Science

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