The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Immediate Moratorium Needed on Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining to Protect Human Health
This week the National Commission on the Health Impacts of Mountaintop Removal Mining, a group of independent physicians and scientists, released recommendations for actions necessary to ensure the health and safety of the residents of Appalachia who are impacted by mountaintop removal (MTR) mining.
The Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ) commissioned the scientists to review a report prepared by CHEJ that analyzed the existing body of peer-reviewed, scientific studies on the impacts of MTR coal mining on human health. That review led to the recommendations released this week.
“The evidence shows that mountaintop removal threatens public health and the environment. It’s time to act to protect rural communities,” said commission member Dr. Steven B. Wing, PhD. Wing is associate professor of epidemiology in the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina.
“Corporate leaders, local, state and national policy makers need to pay attention to the information in this report,” said Dr. Jerome A. Paulson, professor of Pediatrics & Public Health at George Washington University, another commission member. “The protection of human health needs to be a higher priority than it has been in the past. A moratorium is an appropriate step until such time as those doing mountaintop removal can document that they can do it without significant harm to human health.”
The commission’s recommendations include placing an immediate moratorium on MTR mining until health studies have been conducted that provide a clearer understanding of the associations between adverse health impacts, notably adverse reproductive outcomes and MTR mining. In addition, during the moratorium period, appropriate safeguards including remediation and engineering controls should be implemented to mitigate air and water pollution related to MTR mining activities.
This recommendation could be addressed by passage of the Appalachian Community Health Emergency Act (ACHE Act, HR 526). This legislation would require the first comprehensive federal study of the health dangers of MTR coal mining and would place a moratorium on all new MTR mining permits while federal officials examine health consequences to surrounding communities.
Visit EcoWatch’s MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
It was early in the morning last Thursday, and Jonathan Butler was standing on the Fred Hartman Bridge, helping 11 fellow Greenpeace activists rappel down and suspend themselves over the Houston Ship Channel. The protesters dangled in the air most of the day, shutting down a part of one of the country's largest ports for oil.
By C.J. Polychroniou
Climate change is by far the most serious crisis facing the world today. At stake is the future of civilization as we know it. Yet, both public awareness and government action lag way behind what's needed to avert a climate change catastrophe. In the interview below, Noam Chomsky and Robert Pollin discuss the challenges ahead and what needs to be done.
Food manufacturer General Mills issued a voluntary recall of more than 600,000 pounds, or about 120,000 bags, of Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose Flour this week after a sample tested positive for a bacteria strain known to cause illness.
Extreme weather events supercharged by climate change in 2012 led to nearly 1,000 more deaths, more than 20,000 additional hospitalizations, and cost the U.S. healthcare system $10 billion, a new report finds.
A Bay Area conservation group struck a deal to buy and to protect the world's largest remaining privately owned sequoia forest for $15.6 million. Now it needs to raise the money, according to CNN.
The Rugby World Cup starts Friday in Japan where Pacific Island teams from Samoa, Fiji and Tonga will face off against teams from industrialized nations. However, a new report from a UK-based NGO says that when the teams gather for the opening ceremony on Friday night and listen to the theme song "World In Union," the hypocrisy of climate injustice will take center stage.
By Wudan Yan
In June, New York Times journalist Andy Newman wrote an article titled, "If seeing the world helps ruin it, should we stay home?" In it, he raised the question of whether or not travel by plane, boat, or car—all of which contribute to climate change, rising sea levels, and melting glaciers—might pose a moral challenge to the responsibility that each of us has to not exacerbate the already catastrophic consequences of climate change. The premise of Newman's piece rests on his assertion that traveling "somewhere far away… is the biggest single action a private citizen can take to worsen climate change."