Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
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Contents

Sludged Sick: Telling Our Stories in the State Capitol
New Court Order Sought to Block Three More MTR Permits in WV
Not Just Any Thursday
Somethings in the Water
The TRUE Costs of Coal
Buffalo Creek: It Should Never Have Happened
Living With Sludge, Living With Fear
Redefining Mine Safety - Inside and Outside the Mines
Book on MTR's Horrors Reviewed

Proposed Campaign Financing Act Would Mean Clean Elections in WV

Voter Beware: Watching the Paper Trail Vital to Make Sure YOUR Vote Counts
WV Senator Pushes Publicly Funded Campaigns Starting With 2008 Election
Coal Has Given Millions to Candidates, Report Says
Injecting Coal Wastes Underground Harmful, Not Well Regulated in WV
On the Scene at Sago
The Toll from Coal
A Discredited Regime
The Worst Environmental President in US History
Our Voices Are Being Heard Nationally and Internationally!
Net Metering: Grassroots Energy Generation for Everyone
Strange Questions: When Just Listening Can Be Viewed as A Threat
Chilling Dissent: FBI Collecting Research Reports on Enviro Groups
Intact Forests Worth TRILLIONS

We Cant Wait on Warming, Bushs Do-Nothing Policy Unacceptable

Global Warming: Seven Hard Realities for Americans
Almost LEVEL, West Virginia
Sustainable Development: Help Send A Coalfield Delegation to the UN
Coalfield Residents Banding Together to Save School From Impoundment
The CARTOONS - A Common Theme Emerges

THANKS

Healing Mountains: The 16th annual Heartwood Forest Council and the 6th annual Summit for the Mountains
OVECs Annual Meeting and Spaghetti Dinner Fund-Raiser
They Say Nuke Like Its a Good Thing


For viewing the PDF version of the newsletter

 

Winds of Change Newsletter, February 2006     See sidebar for table of contents

 
The few ... the proud ... the ENVIRONMENTALISTS.
The few ... the proud ... the ENVIRONMENTALISTS.

Sludged Sick: Telling Our Stories in the State Capitol

Its evident that coal industry campaign contributions can muck up certain politicians heads. Some lawmakers seem to have forgotten about We, the People.

Rather than remain forgotten, the people of southern West Virginia are standing up and speaking out. From county commissions to the State Capitol, people are demanding that legislators hear our voices.

For instance, on Jan. 10, 26 people from Boone, Logan, Raleigh, Mingo, Cabell and Kanawha counties converged on Charleston to tell their stories to six West Virginia delegates.

A few who had never been in the State Capitol felt a bit intimidated by those grand marble columns and all those white men in suits. But, not for long. It turns out the delegates who came to meet with us are our neighbors and friends and, once they heard our stories, they really do want to help. Who could not be moved by the stories told? The delegates were truly stunned by what they heard and saw.

Several Mingo County residents showed samples of their blackened well water and told horror stories of sick children. Massey has been injecting coal sludge from its Rawl Sales Processing plant into old underground mines and the people believe the sludge has made its way into their water supplies.

Not only do they allege their water has been contaminated, they also feel the water is ruining their health. Mothers spoke of taking their babies to the hospital with illnesses uncommon for young children gall and kidney stones and liver trouble. One woman recounted how her doctors suspected the water had almost caused her liver to fail; she remembered lying in the hospital, thinking of what would happen to her children if she died. She still worries, because her family of six still uses the well water to bathe and wash clothes, as they cant afford bottled water for anything but drinking. (See related story below).

The dangers of sludge injection arent the only thing the people from Mingo, Boone, Logan and Raleigh counties came to tell the delegates about.

They also talked about what it is like to live near giant coal sludge impoundments. They wonder when the dams will break. They showed pictures of the Massey coal sludge impoundment above Marsh Fork Elementary School. The dam is only 400 yards from the school, and theres strip-mine blasting going on above the impoundment!

Just three days after that meeting, some of the same folks met with an aide to the governor, once again telling their stories. The aide was visibly moved. He took their foul well water samples and promised to show them to the governor. These folks are now waiting to hear when the governor will meet with them. As one lady put it, Ive dealt with this (contaminated water) for 20 years. The least the governor can do is deal with it for an hour.

Then, on Feb. 1, two dozen more went to visit 12 delegates and senators to request the politicians aid in stopping the health and safety problems related to coal slurry injection and coal sludge impoundments.

All visits were facilitated by the Sludge Safety Project.

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