Stefanik votes for toxic waste dumping
To the editor:
On Feb. 1, Rep. Elise Stefanik voted, along with 223 of her Republican colleagues to allow coal companies to resume dumping their toxic waste into local streams without monitoring or remediating the horrendous damage to the environment caused by this practice. (House Joint Resolution 38)
This dumping of waste occurs at the end of “mountaintop removal,” a coal mining practice where, according to the Environmental Protection Administration, “The tops of mountains are removed, exposing the seams of coal. Mountaintop removal can involve removing 500 feet or more of the summit to get at buried seams of coal. The earth from the mountaintop is then dumped in the neighboring valleys.”
This fill includes toxic mining waste, which poisons the land and water it touches. Over 2,000 miles of headwater streams had been buried by these “valley fills” until the Obama administration implemented a rule requiring coal companies to disclose the damage they cause and clean it up.
Despite her claims to the contrary, Rep. Stefanik is no environmentalist. And no friend to the mountains. Here in the Adirondacks, our mountains are protected by the New York State Constitution. The people of West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee are not so lucky. Do we really want a representative who would sacrifice people’s health and the beautiful mountains where they live so that the energy companies that contributed to her campaign can reap higher profits?