Safeguarding Treatment for the Restoration of Ecosystems From Abandoned Mines Act

Floor Speech

Date: July 28, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman-in-waiting for the opportunity to address this.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the STREAM Act. Over the last century, American companies have mined coal in at least 26 States across the country. Over that same period of time, thousands of these mines have ceased operation.

Abandoned mines produce acid drainage that, unfortunately, flows into our streams and is toxic. As a result, tens of thousands of miles of streams and waterways across America are being poisoned.

West Virginia alone, according to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, has indicated that we have 1,500 miles of streams that are toxic in West Virginia.

The STREAM Act ensures States have the flexibility to use these federally allocated funds for acid mine drainage cleanup and provides long-term maintenance of these cleanup projects. The bill preserves the use of important guidelines already in place, as you have heard, and simply extends them to recently approved new funding measures.

Making our streams safe is not a partisan issue. Mr. Speaker, as chairman of the Congressional Coal Caucus, I am proud to be leading the Republican effort, in conjunction with Representative Cartwright, to pass this bipartisan legislation.

For anyone who has never seen these orange, poisoned streams, they will never understand the gravity of the situation. But for those of us that have seen and lived with this devastation that will last for years, decades, into the future, the time to vote ``yes'' is now.

Mr. Speaker, I urge support of the STREAM Act, and I encourage a ``yes'' vote.