from the facebook page of climate ground zero’s mike roselle:
HARMFUL MTR POLICY INTENSIFIES A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS
What it does: This rider ( Division D, Title I, Section 115) restricts the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from using funds to develop, adopt implement, administer, or enforce any change to regulations pertaining to the definitions of the terms “fill material” or “discharge of fill material” under the Clean Water Act.
Why it matters: A 2002 rulemaking by EPA and the Corps of Engineers altered the definition of “fill material” under the Clean Water Act to include waste disposal, clearing the way the way for industrial mining operations to turn our vital streams and rivers into industrial waste dumps called “valley fills.” This rider would lock in this loophole, allowing industry to keep dumping industrial waste in rivers and streams and polluting entire watersheds.
Under the Bush Administration, the definition of “fill material” in the Clean Water Act was changed to allow mountaintop mining operators the use of streams and rives as “fill” dumps for their toxic mining waste
A single valley fill can be as big as 250 million cubic yards
The recent Elk River chemical spill in West Virginia that has left hundreds of thousands without water has rightfully grabbed national attention. However, the people of Appalachia have suffered from water pollution caused by mountaintop removal coal mining for decades and rather than trying to help, Congress seeks to double down on giving Big Coal free reign to poison our communities with this appropriations rider
Mining waste contains toxic chemicals known to pose health risks to humans and aquatic animals. Continuing the practice of dumping this waste into our nation’s streams and rivers is dangerous and irresponsible.
EPA estimates that 120 miles per year of headwater streams are buried with the chemical-laden discharge as a result of surface mining operations under existing definitions of “fill.”
As of 2006, there were more than 6,600 valley fills spanning more than 91,000 square miles in West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee
Already more than 22% of all the rivers and streams in Southern West Virginia are impaired by mountaintop removal mining pollution.
A 2008 EPA study found evidence that mining activities have subtle to severe impacts on downstream aquatic life and the biological conditions of a stream. That study found that nine out of every 10 streams downstream from surface mining operations were impaired based on a genus-level assessment of aquatic life
Chemicals associated with MTR mining – the same chemicals in valley fills – have been shown to pose developmental and reproductive risks, including:
o Heritable gene mutations
o Mutations in fetal DNA
o Musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, urogenital, and other birth defects.
Mountaintop removal mining has also been linked to serious health problems. Rates of mortality, lung cancer, and chronic heart, lung, and kidney disease are all significantly elevated in counties with mountaintop removal mining. The rate of birth defects is 26 percent higher.
January 14, 2014
From our good friends at Earthjustice…
Raviya Ismail, Earthjustice, (202) 745-5221; firstname.lastname@example.org
Harmful MTR Policy Exacerbates Public Health China Crisis
Provision included in spending bill would threaten already imperiled
Washington, D.C. — Last night the House of Representatives filed a trillion-dollar spending bill that includes a provision that restricts the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from using funds to change in any way whatsoever, regulations pertaining to the definitions of the terms “fill material” or “discharge of fill material” under the Clean Water Act. This locks in a 2002 rulemaking that allows corporate polluters to keep dumping industrial waste in rivers and streams and polluting entire watersheds.
The following statement is from Chris Espinosa, legislative representative for Earthjustice:
“We are appalled that Congress is bargaining peoples’ health through this give-away rider to polluters. This rider does nothing but give polluters free reign to continue poisoning Appalachia’s already-contaminated drinking water sources. More than 22 percent of all the rivers and streams in Southern West Virginia are impaired by mountaintop removal mining pollution and this policy rider will lock in the same destructive practice of using waters as waste dumps.
“We will continue to work with legislative leaders and the administration to address harmful pollution that results from valley fills and press for an end to mountaintop removal mining. The chemical spill in West Virginia – which left hundreds of thousands without water – only reminds us all how much everyone needs and deserves clean water. Congress must not cut off the federal government’s ability to protect people from clean water. It is a basic human right.”
Earthjustice is a non-profit public interest law organization dedicated to protecting the magnificent places, natural resources, and wildlife of this earth, and to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment.
Raviya Heera Ismail
Eastern Press Secretary
1625 Massachusetts Ave. NW Suite 702
Washington, DC 20036
Because the earth needs a good lawyer
please read: http://earthjustice.org/news/press/2014/harmful-mountaintop-removal-policy-exacerbates-wv-public-health-crisis
please help spread the word, and add your voice to stop this rider! this will allow mountaintop removal coal companies to have unlimited dumping privileges. the current crisis in west virginia will only be the beginning of concentrated toxins in fresh water supplies. as it stands right now these companies have been “filling”-let’s call it what it is: poisoning-streams and rivers of the appalachian region for years, and this rider will only increase the allowed amount of deadly chemical that result from mtr coal mining.
regardless of whether you live in the appalachian region or not, everyone is effected by these “cost effective methods” of coal collection. water flows into water, seeps into vegetation, evaporates and is redistributed through rainfall into other areas….everyone is touched by the poisoning these companies are causing. at present the amount of toxicity of fresh water streams is minimal in comparison to where we will be if these companies are allowed and fiscally encouraged to pick up the pace in dumping these chemicals!
please regardless of where you reside, add you voice and help spread the news of this rider! congress is being quite sneaky in attaching this to a spending bill, making it almost undetectable! to help stop this rider from being law please help spread the word on your social media sites and by contacting local media-radio and television stations and/or print media such as newspapers and magazines. some examples of twitter posts:
> > Twitter Hashtags
> > #StopMTRPoisoning
> > #NoMoreToxicDumping
> > Polluters get greenlight on cont’d toxic dumping thx to @RepHalRogers and #Congress. Tell Congress #NoMoreToxicDumping!
> > Tell @HouseAppropsGOP and @SenateApprops to #StopMTRPoisoning and remove MTR valley fill rider from Approps bill #NoMoreToxicDumping
> > Hey @RepHalRogers, @SenatorBarb, @HouseAppropsGOP, @SenateApprops, @AppropsDems – ever seen a 250 million cubic yard wall of toxic sludge? Remove MTR valley fill rider from Approps bill #NoMoreToxicDumping
for more information please contact http://earthjustice.org/ or @ https://www.facebook.com/Earthjustice
freedom industries, the company wholly responsible for the lead of mchm into the water system of 9 counties, leaving immediately 300,000 ppl without water. any water. the water was poisoned. the media response from those hanging from the top rungs of freedom industries corporate latter has been minimal. the president, gary southern, showed little if any remorse during a press conference on thursday after the epa informed the “coal cleaning industry” of the leak of their poison into the water supply-that’s right, the company was informed by a bureaucratic agency! mr. southern let the public know he was tired and had a long day as he sipped causally on a bottle of water. that wasn’t a big ol’ slap in the face to the hundreds of thousands of ppl that his company had left with no water except to flush the toilet! shelves of stores were stripped bare of bottled water and other liquids within hours of the release of information that at least 7,500 gallons of crude mchm had seeped into the water supply.
dennis farrell the ceo of freedom industries has also been silent in response to the crisis the citizens of west virginia were facing. but luckily for us, his girlfriend kathy-strover kennedy has been good and loud, speaking to the public via social media.
o, i should also mention that kathy-strover kennedy is the social media strategist for freedom industries! the nonchalant attitude of what had happened to so many ppl writing this off as a casual inconvenience that her bunny faced love bug denny just didn’t have time to deal with or even address.
at this time the mchm is flowing from the elk river heading down the ohio river which empties into the mighty mississippi river. due to the fact that there is no absolute for sure grand total of how much poison leaked into the water, therefore, they cannot estimate how long it will take before the toxic cleaner is diluted enough for human consumption. the only thing that is certain is that there are alot of ppl in danger, a huge amount of water has become toxic and the aftermath is unknown. we also know that the ppl responsible for this tragedy are in denial and running like rats off of a sinking ships, leaving their barbie-doll faced mouthpiece to attempt at some damage control through use of attempting to victimize the ppl who should have their heads on the chopping blocks!
on thursday a company that likes blowing up the sides of beautiful mountains that are the homes to so many wonderful plants. animals, insects, ppls called freedom industries accidentally leaked gallons and gallons of a toxic cleaner called mchm (4-methylcyclohexane methanol) leaving thousands of ppl in nine different counties in west virginia without usable water. the water has been poisoned to the extent that it is unusable for anything other than flushing the toilet. there is no water in nine counties! please take a moment and let that fact sink in and settle in the grey matter, turn it around in your mind for a moment. there are a few critical needs for life, water is one of those, and there is no usable water. no drinking, no cleaning, no cooking, no bathing, no water!
in november mike roselle and friends (james guin mcguinness who is my friend) of climate ground zero created an action to bring attention to the extremely toxic effects of mountaintop removal coal mining. the action was focused on the dust, which contains so many toxins itself. roselle was arrested when he delivered a bit of the coal dust to the governor’s mansion and refused to take it back.
now, less than two months later the citizens of west virginia are faced with another deadly threat. the mchm that leaked has since soaked into the ground water and has also made it’s way into the elk river. the extent of the damage done by this “oops, my bad” action of freedom industries is undetermined. when will the water in west virginia be clean enough for ppl to even take a shower? no idea! what about the fish in the river? no idea! how far will this water travel and how long until it will be diluted enough to lose it’s toxicity, and what about all the ppl who will come into contact with that water until that happens? no idea!!!! how many ppl were effected before the leak was discovered? hmmm…debatable! how much mchm escaped into the water system? can’t really give a concrete on that one.
for decades environmental activist have spoken out against mountaintop removal coal mining. they have begged and come up with sustainable alternatives that will not leave cancerous impacts on the population and can be accomplished without destroying ancient structures of mother nature. we have known this is dangerous! we have known for so long that the miners from a century ago were subjected to illnesses and chronic health issues, not to mention the immediate danger at hand, but the major economic options for the ppls of the appalachian region is, unfortunately, mining leaving residents with little options.
i am disgusted and afraid! i am tired of our planet being tortured and maimed for profit of some fat cat in a silk suit! i am tired of knowing that there are human beings who will die due to the negligent actions of some corporation that will make some blanket apology and pay a relatively small fine while in the comfort of their air conditioned offices with bottles of water in buckets filled with ice far removed from the extreme devastation they have caused. they will worry about the public relations aspect of this catastrophe, not the personal repercussions of it all-that kind of pr is left for the poor citizens of west virginia to live with. please think of these ppl when turning on your light and your computer. please take a moment and whisper a hope for the ppl who will suffer so much damage from this tragedy when you get some ice out of your freezer. please think of this when you hear clean fuel or clean coal, the aftermath of these concepts is of global consequence. the least we can do is keep those taking the biggest hit of this catastrophe in the front of our minds while using the energy that took their lives.
for more information about mountaintop removal coal mining and issues facing the ppl of west virginia please visit http://climategroundzero.org/
mountaintop removal mining is one of the most environmentally careless practices we close our eyes to. we don’t want to know where our fuel comes from bc when we do we have to look at the faces of those who suffer to give us these…