I love Kentucky. I have lived here my entire life, and hiking in the mountains is an experience like no other, but seeing streams and land being destroyed, all so coal companies and their politicians can make a buck, absolutely breaks my heart.
Thousands of miles of streams and more than 500 mountains have been impacted or destroyed by coal mining, which is devastating to the ecology of Kentucky and the wellbeing of the people who live here. Mining releases heavy metals into the streams, which, according to the World Health Organization, can cause numerous types of cancer.
These effects can take place after as little as three years with regular exposure to polluted water. Eastern Kentuckians aren’t the only people being negatively impacted by water pollutants, as the Kentucky River brings some of these toxins across the state.
The Stream Protection Rule, an update to the Surface Mine Control and Reclamation Act, clarifies ambiguous regulations and requires more strict monitoring of streams. I support this vital update because I love Kentucky in all of its beauty, and I want my kids and grandkids to be able to love it the way I do.