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Activists demand mining health studies

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Environmentalists concerned about health threats from mountaintop removal mining are in Washington in their continuing fight with coal companies over who has the better science.

Activists from Kentucky and West Virginia touted a report Tuesday by the Center for Health, Environment & Justice that concludes the issue deserves comprehensive study.

A commission formed by the center says industry should fund that research but behind a firewall that prevents it from influencing outcomes.

Activists were also attending a congressional briefing with Democratic Reps. John Yarmuth of Kentucky and Louise Slaughter of New York on the Appalachian Community Health Emergency Act.

The bill would require a federal study of health risks and ban new permits until those risks are understood.

It has 27 sponsors and co-sponsors but is unlikely to gain traction.

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