Protect Drinking Water and Air Quality from Dirty Coal Mine

Coal Mine

Target: David J. Porter, Chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas

Goal: Save resident homes, air quality, and freshwater sources from an open-pit coal mine.

Freshwater and air quality are in danger from a decision to operate a strip mine close to resident homes to provide coal to a foreign coal plant. Strip mines are opencast mines that could easily contaminate water sources, especially in an area that has suffered from two 100-year floods in two years. We must speak up now to protect this town from an increase of noise pollution, dust pollution, and traffic as well as the potentially devastating effects on air and water.

Known as the Eagle Pass Mine, this 6,400-acre coal mine will produce 2.8 million tons of low-grade coal every year in a Texas town that sits close to the Mexican border. The mine’s operators hope to expand the mining area an extra 25,000 acres. All of the coal from the mine will travel by train to Mexico to be burned for energy in electrical generating power plants.

Texas residents in the Eagle Pass area are strongly against the coal mine; approximately 8,000 people signed a petition opposing the mine. Residents mostly worry about the condition of drinking water and local freshwater sources.

Although the mine is required to dig ponds in case of heavy rains, the ponds can only withstand a 10-year flood. With the kind of rain the area has been receiving the past two years, this is alarming for residents because part of the mine does sit in a floodplain and is situated relatively close to a densely populated area. Open-pit coal mines are known to cause acid mine drainage, a dangerous situation in which sulfuric acid and other heavy metals are carried by rainwater from the mine into groundwater and surface water.

Not only will the mine be a risk, but so will the burning of the coal that the mine produces. Burning coal, especially low-grade coal, releases carbon dioxide into our atmosphere, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.

By signing this petition, you are urging the Railroad Commission of Texas to reevaluate the mine and conduct a strict environmental assessment that includes an impact on climate change.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Chairman Porter,

The Eagle Pass Mine is a burden on local residents and is a threat to the local water and air. The mine will dig up low-grade coal to be burned for energy in Mexico. The burning of this coal will release carbon dioxide into our atmosphere, increasing the effects of climate change.

The citizens of the Eagle Pass area have already vocalized their opposition to this open-pit coal mine. The area has suffered from two 100-year floods in two years and the mine’s operation could leach toxic chemicals into the water supply if another flood were to occur.

I am urging you to please protect Texas residents and the local air and water quality by reevaluating the need for Eagle Pass Mine.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Herry Lawford

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