By RONNIE ELLIS
A West Virginia University professor of public health Monday defended his methodology and conclusions in a study which shows higher rates of self-reported cancer deaths and other diseases in Kentucky counties where mountaintop removal mining occurs.
CNHI News reported last weekend the study by Dr. Michael Hendryx showed higher rates of cancer deaths, life-long asthma and hypertension in Floyd County than in the eastern Kentucky counties of Rowan and Elliott where such mining practices don’t occur.
Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo, who is from Floyd County, and Bill Bissett, president of the Kentucky Coal Association, questioned Hendryx’s study, basing their criticism on both the conclusions and the method of interviewing residents of the three counties.
Stumbo additionally pointed out that Rowan and Elliott counties have higher levels of education attainment and per capital income.