Tell Congress: Support Legislation to Stop Zombie Mines

Help make sure zombie mines are cleaned up!

From our partners at Appalachian Voices

Our communities are deeply tied to our lands — the land gives us clean water, refuge for wildlife and a sense of place. But today, hundreds of thousands of acres of coal mines are not being cleaned up. This puts nearby residents at risk, threatens our water and drags down our local economies.

If mines are properly cleaned up, the landowners can return the land to wildlife habitat or use the land for new projects such as farming, solar and wind facilities, ranching, trails, commercial or residential construction, and more. But as the coal industry has declined, coal companies are failing to clean up their messes.

When mines are neither producing coal nor being reclaimed, we call these mines “zombie mines” — and these zombie mines put people nearby at risk of water pollution, landslides and other dangerous environmental impacts.

Three new bills aim to make sure coal companies clean up their mines in a timely manner and make sure the companies set aside adequate funding to do so, ensuring that responsibility doesn’t end up falling to taxpayers, or worse — leaving communities with the dangerous mess of an unreclaimed mine.

Rep. Matt Cartwright’s two bills — the Coal Cleanup Taxpayer Protection Act (H.R. 7940) and the Bond Improvement and Reclamation Assurance Act (H.R. 7941) — outlaw certain bonding practices that have created countless zombie mines and tighten regulations to ensure coal companies will have enough money for reclamation. Rep. Don Beyer’s Stream Protection and Vegetation Restoration Act (H.R. 8062) sets clear deadlines for how quickly parts of a mine must be cleaned up after the coal is removed.

Tell your lawmakers in Congress to support these zombie mine prevention bills to ensure coal companies — not the people — are paying for mine clean up!

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