Bill to ban valley fills introduced
W.Va. Senator Jon Blair Hunter, a Democrat from Monongalia County, has introduced legislation to end the practice of valley fills, in which thousand of miles of streams are buried under the rubble created by mountaintop removal coal mining.
From a press release:
“I introduced Senate Bill 588 because I fervently believe that God did not intend for us to destroy the mountains, the streams, the forests and His people in order to mine coal,” Sen. Hunter said.
“Senator Hunter's bill would stop mountain top removal operators from continuing to use West Virginia's mountain streams as giant garbage cans to dispose of billions of tons of mining waste,” said Joe Lovett executive director of the Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment. “West Virginians overwhelmingly oppose mountaintop removal, and I hope that the Manchin administration and others in the Legislature will stand with Senator Hunter to stop the permanent destruction of a huge swath of one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world. It is time for the madness of mountaintop removal to come to an end, and Senator Hunter's bill is an important step in that direction.”
Bio on Hunter from Sen. Byrd's Web site:
Jon Blair Hunter was elected to the West Virginia Senate from the 14th District in 1997. He was recently appointed co-chair of the Senate Education Subcommittee on Productive and Safe Schools. Senator Hunter is a native West Virginian, born in Richwood and raised in Nitro. He served in the U.S. Army and earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's degree in social work at the University of Wisconsin. His professional "hats" have included college professor, community organizer, and administrator and executive director of numerous community and senior citizen organizations and programs. He served as Executive Director of the Region VI Area Agency on Aging from 1981 to 1991, coordinating senior citizen programs in north central West Virginia. He is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and has served on the boards of many other civic organizations.