When asked about research findings released last week which concluded that residents in coalfield counties face a greater risk of early death, and of suffering from heart, lung and kidney disease, Secretary of the WV Division of Environmental Protection, Stephanie Timmermeyer had the following comments:
"No one at my agency should be talking about whether these facilities have adverse health effects," Timmermeyer said. "That's not under our purview and we do not have that expertise."Are you kidding me? Really?
I guess Secretary Timmermeyer forgot that according to WV Code, §22-2-1, one of the primary purposes of the WV DEP is:
"(5) Those functions of government which regulate the environment should be consolidated in order to accomplish the purposes set forth in this article, to carry out the environmental functions of government in the most efficient and cost effective manner, to protect human health and safety and, to the greatest degree practicable, to prevent injury to plant, animal and aquatic life, improve and maintain the quality of life of our citizens, and promote economic development consistent with environmental goals and standards."Timmermeyer's comments remind me of Dick Cheney's recent comments about the Iraq war. She might as well have said "So." and left it at that.(emphasis added)
WV citizens deserve better.
Cross posted at http://www.wvablue.com.