End Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

… we are destroying one of America’s national treasures for a small fraction of our energy supply that will last for only a few decades.

What can Congress do to stop mountaintop removal?

The Clean Water Act was enacted by Congress to “restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters,” and prohibited the dumping of material into waterways for the purpose of waste disposal. In 2002, the Secretary of the Army changed the definition of “fill material” in order to include mining waste. Since debris from mountaintop removal is no longer considered “waste,” coal companies are dumping millions of tons of mine waste into streams.

Representatives Frank Pallone and Christopher Shays introduced a bill that reestablishes the original intent of the Clean Water Act: to protect our waterways, not give industry permission to pollute and bury them. By the end of the 109th congress of 2006, the bill had 77 co-sponsors.

Click here to 1) find out who your congressman is if you don’t know (!); 2) find out if he or she already supports the Clean Water Act; and 3) send an email thanking them or urging them to support this piece of crucial legislation.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. thanks, fred! for some reason, whenever i try to send the letter, i get an error report. i let ilovemountains know, though. i hope others aren’t having the same problem. i’ll just need to go directly to my representatives site and copy and paste the letter and send.

    our representatives are home during august and i am setting up a meeting with ours to talk to him about ‘the clean water act’….even though he is against it. but i’m gonna keep bugging our officials in our state…they are the ones allowing this atrocity.