Sunday, May 21, 2017

National committee studying health impacts of surface coal mining in Central Appalachia to have first meeting in region Tuesday

A national committee studying the health impacts of surface coal mining in Central Appalachia will have its first public meeting in the region Tuesday, May 23 at Chief Logan State Park near Logan, W.Va.

The committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine had a meeting in Washington on March 7, and has another one scheduled there for July 11. The site of a fourth meeting, set for Aug. 21, has not been announced. The study focuses on  West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee.

At Tuesday's meeting, representatives from West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, the West Virginia Coal Association and several environmental groups will participate in panel discussions form 12:45 to 3:45 p.m. From 6:30 to 9 p.m., a town hall meeting will allow community members will have an opportunity to address the committee. For a detailed agenda, click here.

The study is funded by a $1 million grant from the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. It is examining research, primarily done by Indiana University's Michael Hendryx when he was at West Virginia University. Another study, by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, is in process.

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