6:56 PM EST
John Garamendi, D-CA 10th

Mr. GARAMENDI. Mr. Chairman, I'm from California so forgive me, but I also was the Deputy Secretary at the Department of the Interior in the mid-nineties, and we set up a program [Page: H1280]

called the Appalachia Clean Streams Program to deal precisely with the issues that have risen over the years from the pollution and contamination from the various coal mines, including mountaintop removal. This effort underway by the Department is to deal with the ongoing problem.

The continuing problem, mountaintop removal in mining, does contaminate and does destroy streams.

I could not believe the clarity of the water in the streams when I visited West Virginia. They would make the swimming pools in Los Angeles envious. Nothing was alive, nothing at all, because of the contamination from the mines. I just ask for the opportunity to go ahead.