[Episcopal Public Policy Network] Mountaintop removal mining takes an irreversible toll on God’s Creation, destroying mountains, burying streams, sending toxic chemicals into the ground, and poisoning the waters of the local community. For this reason, the Episcopal Church alongside ecumenical and interfaith partners has long opposed mountaintop removal. We remain concerned that allowing mining operations to fill valleys and bury streams without consideration for the local community’s health and environment, and without opportunity for public comment, will further damage ecosystems and human communities.
Last year, we saw several attempts by lawmakers to prevent the EPA from moving forward with the Clean Water Act rule which prevents the use of mining waste as “fill material” which is then dumped into Appalachian streams. We urge the EPA to continue carefully assessing the full environmental, economic, and health impacts associated with mountaintop removal mining.
For decades, faith communities have judged the cost to be too high, and we are finding more and more evidence reinforcing this conclusion. The General Convention called these practices of mountaintop removal and valley fill mining, especially in low-income areas, environmental racism and urged action to eliminate their use (2000-D005).
Several lawmakers have announced further intention to reduce or eliminate funding to the EPA for the purposes of preventing destructive mountaintop removal coal mining. We are joining with the National Council of Churches in signing a petition urging lawmakers to stand with us in protecting God’s creation by opposing the destructive practice of mountaintop removal – Sign the petition here now.