Exploring the Health Implications from Mountaintop Removal

This panel discussion is available for those who want to learn about, and ask questions about, health implications and community observations in Appalachian mining communities. The panel will host Wendy Johnson (a native West Virginian and ten-year mountain top removal activist), Sarah Yonts (a Masters of Public Health surveyor who has spoken with more than 1,000 people in mining and non-mining Appalachian communities), and Michael Hendryx (a public health professor and researcher of mining’s public health impacts.) The speakers will offer their personal experiences and observations regarding the health impacts of mountaintop removal mining, and their recommendations regarding the solutions that could be implemented to reduce environmental impacts of mountaintop mining, and to create more just and sustainable economic opportunity for people in mining communities. Each of the speakers has a long and varied experience with the health problems related to this form of mining, and they worked together on research studies to understand these problems more fully. Each speaker will present brief comments about their personal experiences and observations, and the panel will invite questions and comments from the audience on their thoughts and ideas to create environmental justice for residents of mining communities.