This week, nearly 200 citizens from Appalachia and across the US are gathering in Washington, DC for the 5th Annual End Mountaintop Removal Week in Washington – and hundreds more will show support by contacting their representatives.
Please contact your representative to ask them to ask them to co-sponsor HR 1310, the Clean Water Protection Act. Read this message from the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Program for background on the issue:
In 2002, the Bush administration changed a key Clean Water Act rule to broaden the definition of legal fill material to include mining waste. This decision effectively legalized mountaintop removal, and coal companies across Appalachia have used this rollback of the Clean Water Act as an opportunity to use valleys and streams as dumping grounds for waste from their mountaintop removal mines.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that, to date, close to 2,000 miles of streams have been contaminated or destroyed by this practice. Furthermore, thousands of acres of forests and at least 450 mountains and summits in Appalachia have been destroyed. Many more are slated for mountaintop removal mining. As a result, communities throughout Appalachia suffer daily from polluted drinking water, increased flooding, damage to homes and buildings due to mining blasts, massive amounts of dust, numerous health ailments, and a devastated landscape.
Mountaintop removal is one of the most egregious environmental and social justice disasters in America today. God entrusted stewardship of lands and water to our care (Genesis 2:15). As part of our call to be stewards of Creation, we have a duty to use the land responsibly, to manage it so that it serves the good of all, and to protect it for future generations and for all life. Therefore, we call on you to urge your representative to become a co-sponsor and supporter of HR 1310, the Clean Water Protection Act.
To learn more about mountaintop removal mining, visit the Christians for the Mountains website.