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Clean Air Ambassador: Kathleen Craig

I am concerned that corporate entities are permitted to extract riches from the earth without concern for consequences

I've lived in northern New England for more than 30 years, after I relocated from northeastern Pennsylvania. Vermont has cleaner air than many other areas of the country, and the quality of the environment was a major motivation for my move. We have low population density in Vermont and less industrialization, as the aged mill buildings of the first industrial age have been converted to service use.

My birthplace, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania is a former anthracite coal mining town that was surrounded by culm banks of discarded mine tailings. The air in the Wyoming Valley was hazy with mine fires that had been burning for years. I notice they are still burning when I return for visits.

Now, I live in another valley: the Upper Valley. Population growth is the biggest threat to our clean air. More people bring more cars. In my essentially rural area, driving is a must for most people, so cleaner automobiles and energy conservation are very important issues to people in my community. Wood smoke is big concern in northern New England.

I also live next to the Elizabeth Mine in South Strafford, VT, a superfund site. The mine has negatively affected water quality for generations to come. I am concerned that corporate entities are permitted to extract riches from the earth without concern for consequences. Commerce rules and the government must fund the cleanup, a cleanup that is often destructive as well. There is no true restoration.

Clean air is only possible if we have sustainable management of the environment as a whole.
 

Ambassador Group Affiliation: 
American Nurses Association
Ambassador Profession: 
Registered Nurse