It has been one long week since the devastating chemical spill on the Elk River poisoned the drinking water for over 300,000 people in West Virginia. Some residents have been told they can start flushing out their water systems while others are still using bottled water for drinking, cooking and bathing. Even where the water is back on, it's undrinkable, forcing residents to continue their reliance on bottled and shipped in water.
It is no secret that Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, the WV legislature, and the WV Department of Environmental Protection have worked to undercut protections for people's health and the environment in favor of the coal and chemical industry. Unfortunately, this chemical spill is not an isolated incident. There is a silent water crisis in West Virginia, where communities living near coal mining face similar dangers each day.
If West Virginia leadership won't protect communities living downstream from coal mining, then President Obama must step up and protect communities from this toxic industry. Sign the petition, and tell President Obama that West Virginia leaders cannot be trusted to regulate the coal industry.
This spill only underscores the coal industry's widespread use of dangerous chemicals and the cost to Appalachian communities and mountains. If the WV Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) continues to turn a blind eye to Big Coal, President Obama should direct federal agencies to do the job the WV DEP will not do.
Tell President Obama to allow the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement to step in and stand up for the health of West Virginia communities.
Thanks for all you do,
Mary Anne Hitt
Beyond Coal Campaign Director
P.S. Six letters are better than one. Will you share this email with five of your friends and family, too?