Letter to the editor: Ordinary people don't want mine
Americans should be outraged at President Trump's revoking of coal-mining regulations designed to protect our streams, air and health. In February, he revoked regulations against coal-mining debris being dumped into our streams, and now is reconsidering rules designed to protect miners from breathing coal dust and diesel exhaust.
The devastating effects go far beyond coal-fired power plants: Clairton residents have filed a class-action suit against U.S. Steel, claiming air pollution from the Clairton Coke Works has lowered property values and destroyed their health.
And where will the metallurgical coal for coking steel come from over the next 20 years? From a 2,900-acre underground mine in Donegal, gateway to the beautiful Laurel Highlands. Despite significant public protests and well-researched testimony against LCT/Robindale's proposed Rustic Ridge No. 1 mine, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection still approved the mining permit in the same area where $8 million has already been spent to clean up the environmental disasters of previous coal mining.
Once again, the voice of the ordinary citizen has been ignored by both government and industry. Residents in the footprint of this mine are outraged. We are fighting to stop it before one lump of coal is removed from our mountain.
We will be showing our support for the legal appeal filed by the Mountain Watershed Association by going by the busload Jan. 29 for our “day in court” at the Environmental Hearing Board's Pittsburgh office. Like-minded citizens are welcome to join us.
The writer is on the board of directors for the Mountain Watershed Association and is an associate director of the Westmoreland Conservation District. This letter was submitted as her personal opinion.