Coal Mining Health Study is usually Halted by Indoor Department

Environmental groups in addition to Democrats sharply criticized the Indoor Department decision.

“Mountaintop removal mining has been shown to cause lung cancer, heart disease in addition to different medical problems,” said Representative Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona, the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Natural Resources. “Stopping This specific study is usually a ploy to stop science in its tracks in addition to keep the public inside the dark about health risks as a favor to the mining industry, pure in addition to simple.”

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Luke Popovich, a spokesman for the National Mining Association, said the decision to halt the study may have been justified.

“The National Institute of Environmental in addition to Health Sciences concluded in July that will after examining available studies, the item didn’t see evidence justifying a health hazard, noting that will no conclusive evidence connected mountaintop mining with health effects in addition to that will studies often failed to account for extraneous health in addition to lifestyle effects,” he said.

Researchers are still trying to get a handle on the health impacts for people living in nearby Appalachian communities, many of whom are poor in addition to have different health problems.

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Mountaintop removal, which has occurred on at least 500 Appalachian mountains, has clogged streams in addition to waterways with heavy metals such as selenium in addition to manganese, which can be toxic in high concentrations. The dust kicked up by these explosions is usually also considered a hazard.

One 2010 review published in Science found elevated mortality rates, as well as increased incidence of lung cancer in addition to kidney disease, in counties near mountaintop mining. A 2011 study of central Appalachia found a higher rate of birth defects inside the area.

The review by the National Institute of Environmental in addition to Health Sciences, published earlier This specific year, noted that will the item can be difficult to control for variables like poverty, in addition to called for more careful research to determine the precise consequences of the practice.

The $1 million National Academies study had begun last year in addition to was anticipated to take two years to complete. Heather Swift, with the Indoor Department, said the Trump administration is usually conducting a review of grants in addition to cooperative agreements that will cost more than $100,000 to ensure tax dollars are used effectively.

Jake Glance, a spokesman for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, said the state was not aware of the review. He added that will the state will continue to provide information to the National Academies “if in addition to when the study resumes.”

Correction: August 21, 2017

An earlier edition of This specific article incorrectly stated when the National Academies of Sciences released a statement to address the Indoor Department’s letter to halt its study of the potential health risks of mountaintop coal mining. The statement was released on Monday, not Tuesday.

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