Letters to the editor: August 10

August 10, 2013 

Selenium from coal mining is polluting Kentucky's water

Write your representative to help make a difference to our vital water supply.

The federal EPA has the power to block revisions to water quality standards that fail to protect communities or the environment. The EPA needs to reject the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet's proposed revision of Kentucky's water quality standard for selenium pollution. The cabinet's revised standard is remarkably similar to the standard that the EPA rejected in 2004.

Selenium pollution from coal mine waste builds up in the ecosystem, causing physical deformities, reproductive harm and death in aquatic life and the rest of the food chain. The selenium standard involves acute and chronic exposure. The revised acute standard is more than 12 times higher than the existing standard. The revised chronic standard, based on the level of selenium in fish tissue, will be unenforceable and therefore create loopholes for polluters.

The cabinet is required by law to subject any rule changes to water quality standards to thorough public review but it failed to do so when it pushed through its revisions to Kentucky's water quality standards for selenium.

The EPA needs to ensure we have strong clean water protections as mandated by the Clean Water Act. A good standard must be both enforceable and protective of water and the communities and wildlife that depend on clean water for our health and our economy.

Don Hall

Lexington


Redistrict Fayette County

When legislators meet on Aug. 19 to begin the special session to address redistricting, they need to do their duty and get the job done.

This is a critically important legislative responsibility. It should be done fairly and not left for three judges to decide.

It is beyond my imagination to understand how a district can be drawn that starts in Rockcastle County, meanders through Madison County and comes into Fayette County. This is not fair representation to the more than 7,000 residents who would be affected in Fayette County.

There is no need to chop Fayette County into so many districts. Fairness is at issue.

Betsy Farley

Lexington


Wasted dollars

In reference to the article by Richard Dawahare on July 29, I couldn't agree more.

Rupp, as it is now, is a classic. With the economy we are facing now, we don't need to be spending on any non-essential projects or increasing our debt.

The same objection goes to renovating Commonwealth Stadium at this time.

The $2.5 million taken from the coal severance funds to redesign Rupp could then be returned, rightfully, to those coal-producing counties to help them improve their economy, roads, schools, etc. That was the purpose of the severance tax to begin with.

L. J. Caudill

Lexington


Socialist philosophy

Annalee Abell's July 21 "Kentucky Voice" column can be refuted in two very simple ways.

Simply remove her socialist ideology from the article, and inject freedom and personal responsibility, and her idea of racism is crushed. It seems the people who talk the most about racism are the people who promulgate it the most.

Oh, but of course, Annalee paid good money to an expensive school to have these thoughts.

Thomas Eigel

Lexington


Darn that Mitch

A friend asked me recently, "Have you heard that Mitch McConnell has decided it would be in the best interest of Kentucky and the country that he give up his seat in the Senate? So he's going to retire and throw his support behind Alison Lundergan Grimes."

"No!" I shouted, "I have not heard that."

My friend's shoulders slumped. "Darn," he replied, "I haven't either."

Dan Carey

Versailles


Wrangling Cat egos

Channel 27 showed the press conference with Coach Cal's former players. I just saw a little snidbit.

Asked about their coach, they said he is a great recruiter with NBA connections. That seemed almost like a degrading remark to Coach Cal. That he could even get those guys in the same state together, much less on the same team and have one win would have to be the greatest coaching job of all time.

I hope when John Wall comes he can say maybe the coach at least made them understand it wasn't about them. If at least two of them could keep from the 'I' theory they might be able to win some games. I don't know how the coach saw this but I would avoid any more dinners with these guys or asking them to inspire the youth.

If this is what it takes to get more championships, John, enjoy the one you got and let others have the championships.

Floyd C. Shipley

Georgetown


Coal isn't helping us

To my understanding, coal is supposed to better the people of Kentucky, not to take their lives. We have been mining in this state since the 1800s and did you know that there have been no deaths from mining chemicals?

The EPA did a study in 2004 and found 11 incidents where mining chemicals affected people's lives and zero deaths in the whole United States. But I can say for sure that there was one, and that happened in 1956 when my grandfather died. He had the highest level of chromium ever recorded in a human body as well as high levels of arsenic, lead and cadmium.

To all you tar babies out there, I have some feathers here in Louisville. Why don't we get together? You know what the result will be. I just have one question. Who owns that coal in the land: the people of this state or the coal companies?

Bradley S. Hayes

Louisville

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