Whitesburg KY

‘I Love Mountains Day’ will be held to support HB 164

To the Editor:

This year Kentuckians For The Commonwealth will be celebrating Valentine’s Day in a unique way, by gathering 1,000 people at the Capitol in Frankfort for an event called “I Love Mountains Day”. The purpose of this gathering is to generate support for House Bill 164, commonly called the “Stream Saver Bill”. This important piece of legislation would put an end to the dumping of mine wastes into valleys and streams, one of the most destructive aspects of mountaintop removal.

HB 164 would prohibit the dumping of mine wastes into “an intermittent, perennial, or ephemeral stream or other water of the Commonwealth,” thereby protecting vital headwaters essential to the quality of all waters downstream. Mine wastes could be dumped back on the mine site as part of the reclamation process in compliance with state and federal law, rather than dumped over the side of the mountain into valleys and streams below.

In past sessions the Stream Saver Bill was assigned to the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee, where chairman Rep. Jim Gooch refused to allow a hearing. This year there are other committees interested in hearing HB 164.

The 2008 legislative session represents the best chance we’ve had in three years of getting the Stream Saver Bill passed and protecting our most precious resource, clean water. It’s vital that we have a critical mass of people in Frankfort February 14. In addition to lobbying our legislators, I Love Mountains Day will feature art, music, speakers and a rally in the Capitol Rotunda at 12 noon. This event will be the largest lobbying effort Kentucky has seen on saving our streams from mountaintop removal mining. It is essential that we act now, while we still have some clean water left.

KFTC is organizing transportation for those who register for I Love Mountains Day. Please plan to join us in this vitally important effort. To register go to www.kftc.org/streamsaver or call the Whitesburg office at 606- 632-0051.

JEFF CHAPMAN-CRANE Letcher County Steering Committee Representative Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

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