The scientific public health risks of mountaintop-removal study started by the Obama administration was halted by the ID
The research on the health effects of mountaintop mining techniques, conducted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, was stopped due to budgetary review of the Interior Departments.
The analysis, initiated last year and allocated $1 million, includes studies on mining practices dating back since 1960s and leading to extensive pollution. A 12-member expert committee delegated by the National Academies was responsible to assess the safety of residents in the Appalachian communities in the surrounding areas.
Nevertheless, the latest decision from the ID is considered to be justified.
“The National Institute of Environmental and Health Sciences concluded in July that after examining available studies, it didn’t see evidence justifying a health hazard, noting that no conclusive evidence connected mountaintop mining with health effects and that studies often failed to account for extraneous health and lifestyle effects,” Luke Popovich, spokesman at National Mining Association explained.
Nevertheless, mortality rates in the area are considerably elevated, as well as birth defects, lung cancer and kidney disease. Therefore, scientists underline that mountaintop removal is known to clog waterways with toxic heavy metals and the explosions fill the air with toxic dust.
As stated by the Interior Department’s representatives, the Trump administration is currently reviewing the grants higher than $100.000 in order to make sure that the finances are used properly and the taxes are payed.