By Ray Beckerman
Man's inhumanity to man and other living things threatens the whole human experiment. Let's fight it, and try to build a future.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Don't Blow Up Ison Rock Ridge for Coal
Your voice is urgently needed: Ison Rock Ridge, a mountain in Virginia, is slated to be destroyed for a 1,200-acre mountaintop-removal coal mine. Mountaintop removal means the top third of the mountain is brutally blasted off with explosives; then the waste is pushed directly into streams. This kills aquatic life and poisons everything downstream.
Ison Rock Ridge sits above five small communities of 1,800 people. The proposed mine boundary calls for mining just 300 feet away from some peoples’ homes. If the permit is approved, the quality of these people’s lives will be destroyed. The mine will bury headwater streams that feed the creeks running through their communities and will pollute some of the most biologically diverse rivers on the planet.
But there’s hope: The Environmental Protection Agency can deny the permit for mining on Ison Rock Ridge. Please tell the EPA and the White House to save Ison Rock Ridge and ban mountaintop-removal coal mining in Appalachia now and forever.
Sample letter: Subject: Save Ison Rock Ridge From Mountaintop Removal Greetings, I'm writing to urge you to use your authority to veto the pending permit for mountaintop-removal coal mining at Ison Rock Ridge in Wise County, Va., and to enact a permanent moratorium on mountaintop-removal coal mining in Appalachia.
Ison Rock Ridge sits above five small communities of 1,800 people. The proposed mine boundary calls for mining only 300 feet from some of their homes. If the permit is approved, their quality of life will be destroyed. The mine will bury headwater streams that feed creeks running through their communities and pollute downstream waterways.
As you are aware, recent peer-reviewed scientific studies have found that mountaintop removal is associated with increased incidence of birth defects, cancer clusters, increased mortality rates and lower quality of physical and mental health for citizens living near mountaintop-removal mine sites. Mountaintop removal is also harmful to endangered species; wildlife downstream of mountaintop-removal sites suffer from reproductive impairment.
The toll taken by mountaintop removal on human health and endangered species far outweighs its purported economic benefits. The areas with the highest levels of mining also have the highest human mortality rates and remain among the poorest counties in the nation. Science has shown that the destruction from mountaintop removal is pervasive and irreversible, mitigation cannot compensate for losses, and current oversight is inadequate to regulate mountaintop mining. The environmental and public-health effects of mountaintop removal are unacceptable, and I ask that you take immediate action to ban this form of mining and protect Appalachian communities and endangered species from further harm.