A local non-profit is urging the DOI to look into the 36 drowning deaths that occurred near large-scale coal strip mines during the devastating flooding in eastern Kentucky last summer.
According to public health nurse and Kentukians for the Commonwealth volunteer Beverly May, it was quite harrowing to view the scene of the killings and to follow a stream up and discover these massive mines at the head of the hollows.
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KFTC is asking Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to conduct an investigation and determine whether the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977, which has been in effect for 46 years, needs to be changed, in addition to compiling an interactive map of the 36 deaths that were definitely brought on by drowning of the 44 people who died as a result of the flooding.
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According to Neon homeowner and KFTC volunteer Steve Peake, who had severe damage to his home and property due to mining, there was nothing on the mountain to hold the water back. Strip mining is what’s in front of us. Strip mining is in the distance. Although we have had some flooding in the past, nothing is like what happened on July 28.