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No guarantee

August 9, 2013
Morning Journal News


Congressman McKinley is dead wrong: his bill will not guarantee health protections from toxic coal ash. It's long overdue that everyone holds him accountable to the facts and not just his misleading rhetoric.

Three times the Congressional Research Service (CRS) an independent auditing service part of the Library of Congress published reports on the failings of the McKinley coal ash bills. And, three times CRS found his bills would not ensure state run programs would guarantee minimum standards "necessary to protect human health and the environment."

Ask my family, neighbors and friends: we live near the nation's largest unlined coal ash dumpsite. Unfortunately, both the WV DEP and the PA DEP have allowed toxic pollution from the Little Blue Run coal ash dumpsite to damage our communities and threaten our health. Of all the communities in need of a protective rule, Mr. McKinley's constituents in the Lawrenceville section of Chester need it most. And yet, he continues to ignore our plight. He works to ensure state regulatory programs that have failed us, remain in place.

We don't want more of the same. We want and deserve absolute clarity and assurances that our health and the health of workers will be protected. We want a required federal rule based on science - not the money from the lobbyists who will benefit from his misguided bill. Their money floods into Mr. McKinley's campaigns and our concerns are dismissed. Sadly, as the second highest recipient of the money these polluters donate to the U.S. House, it seems to me, he protects them instead of our health.

As West Virginians, we understand the importance of jobs but what about our health? Why shouldn't companies, who generate and dump this waste in our communities, be required to follow health-based standards? No community should have to choose between the two everyone deserves health and jobs.

Curt Havens

Chester, W.Va.



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