© 2024 Louisville Public Media

Public Files:
89.3 WFPL · 90.5 WUOL-FM · 91.9 WFPK

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact info@lpm.org or call 502-814-6500
89.3 WFPL News | 90.5 WUOL Classical 91.9 WFPK Music | KyCIR Investigations
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Stream: News Music Classical

Yarmuth Co-Sponsors Bill to Study Health Risks Linked to Mountaintop Removal

Third District Congressman John Yarmuth has signed on to a bill that would require an analysis of the health effects of mountaintop removal coal mining. The bill would also put a moratorium on new mountaintop removal mines until the practice is proven to be safe.The bill is called the Appalachian Communities Health Emergency Act, or ACHE. It would require several comprehensive studies of the health of people living near mountaintop removal mines. Until the Secretary of Health and Human Services concludes that mountaintop removal has no health risks for nearby communities, it would suspend the practice.Yarmuth is the bill’s only Kentucky sponsor, and he says he doesn’t expect the rest of the state’s delegation to join him.“Anytime significant steps have been taken to protect miners or the environment or neighbors of mining, it’s been done because of an impetus from outside that region,” he said. “And that’s because coal companies have had a lock on the citizens, on the economy and on the media in those areas.”The bill has 13 sponsors, all Democrats, and Yarmuth acknowledges it probably won’t move very quickly through the Republican-controlled House.“Well, in this Congress it probably has very little chance,” he said. “But part of the reason I wanted to support the bill and the sponsors did, was to call attention to this. I mean, this is not a benign practice. It’s not benign in any respect, environmentally or in terms of its health impact.”Recent studies have shown connections between mountaintop removal and birth defects, as well as cancer and lung and kidney disease.

Can we count on your support?

Louisville Public Media depends on donations from members – generous people like you – for the majority of our funding. You can help make the next story possible with a donation of $10 or $20. We'll put your gift to work providing news and music for our diverse community.