Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition Action Alert

May 17

Alert Archive

OVEC Action Alert
Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition


Stand Up to Massey--For The Sake of the Kids
May 24: As Massey Energy's stockholders attend their annual meeting in New York City, join Coal River Mountain Watch, OVEC and others for a protest near a Massey subsidiary's coal processing facility, coal sludge dam and mountaintop removal operation that we believe endanger schools kids and their teachers. We want to let Massey stockholders know their profits come at a huge cost to our kids!

Please meet us at noon on Tuesday, May 24 outside the Marsh Fork Elementary School near Sundial, West Virginia. The school is about 10 miles beyond Whitesville on Rt. 3, about an hour and ten minutes driving-time from Charleston. (Directions below photos.) Please respond to this e-mail or call the OVEC office at 304-522-0246 if you want to carpool from Huntington or Charleston. We ask that you bring a poster-board sign--but please, not on a stick--that helps convey our message: Massey Energy Endangers Our Kids! Save Our Kids From Massey Energy!  Reply to this e-mail if you would like sign ideas.

As we have gone door-to-door in the area, parents tell us their children are coming home sick from school. Some school kids have developed learning disabilities. Some of the kids can't concentrate, and no wonder--recently, mountaintop-removal-related blasting knocked a TV off the wall during class. When it happened, some kids dropped to the floor. Massey has stopped blasting during school hours, but that doesn't stop our worries that the blasting could weaken the coal sludge impoundment that looms over the school.

At least three Marsh Fork teachers have died from cancer in the last few years, and another former teacher is now battling cancer. A former student died from ovarian cancer at age seventeen and another seventeen-year-old who attended the school has been battling ovarian cancer for the past year.

Read more about the dangers the Massey Energy facility poses to the school by clicking here
Or here. Here, too.


Marsh Fork Elementary, left, Coal River, middle, coal silo right. Photo by Bo Webb and thanks to Southwings.org.

The photo at right shows the coal silo next to the school, loading a train. As the coal is loaded, chemical binding agents are sprayed over the coal; in the winter, an anti-freeze is added. The round object and blue building, upper left, are part of the prep plant, where coal is washed with various chemicals in order to prepare it for market. Any chemical spills run into the little ponds you see here and there. Before being released into the Coal River, which runs behind the school, the water from these ponds is treated with more chemicals. The thicker, gooey stuff left over from "cleaning" the coal is directed up the conveyer belt, which you see running from the center of the photo to the right, to the sludge dam above the school. The "cleaned" coal is belted over to the silo for loading.

Atop the school, bottom center above photo, you can see the air intake system. Dust and chemicals from the coal silo is sucked into the air intake system. Coal River Mountain Watch volunteer Bo Webb has seen the duct work in the school--it is covered with coal dust. Add that to the dust and silica from rock-blasting at the mountaintop removal above the school and you can see why some children and teachers are having health problems. The dust and chemicals also settle onto the playground, the grassy area left of the school, only to be stirred up and into kids' lungs as they play. 

This Massey Energy sludge dam, middle left of photo,  holds back 2.8 billion gallons of toxins (the black "pond" upper left), pointed directly at the Marsh Fork Elementary, which is the buildings by the green playground at right. Photo by Vivian Stockman and thanks to Southwings.org.

Directions to Marsh Fork Elementary from Charleston: Take I-77 south, approximately 4 miles past the big green bridge that goes over the Kanawha River. Exit at Rt. 94/Marmet. At the bottom of the exit ramp, take a right onto Rt. 94. Travel about 11 miles, take Rt. 3 East (left hand turn at Y in road ). Whitesville is 20 miles from there and the school is about 10 miles beyond Whitesville. Watch for guides who will direct you to parking areas.

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Stand Up To DEP--For the Sake of the Kids
May 26: 6 p.m. Informal hearing to protest the permit to construct and operate a second coal silo at Marsh Fork Elementary (please see the above information). The hearing will be held at the school near Sundial, WV. Also at this hearing is the discussion of whether to renew the permit for the coal sludge impoundment that looms over the school. Coal River Mountain Watch requests that you please attend this hearing.

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WV CAG Needs Help From Folks in Huntington
West Virginia Citizen Action Group needs your help. May 21: Canvassers needed! Help get turnout for the May 24 meeting on Social Security in Huntington, WV (see May 24 info below). Call Julie or Ted at WV CAG (304) 346-5891 or e-mail ted@wvcag.org for info on volunteering.

May 24: 6:00 p.m. Town Hall Forum on Social Security with the Southwestern District Labor Council at the Huntington City Hall Chambers, 800 5th Ave., Huntington, WV.

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More Events
Register by May 20 for the June 4 training on Military Service and Our Youth: Rights and Risks -A Training for Counselors on Military Recruitment.

June 3: 7:00 p.m. Military Service and Our Youth: Rights and Risks -A Free Public Forum- at St. John's Episcopal Church, Charleston, WV. Presented by the West Virginia Patriots for Peace, in collaboration with The Center on Conscience and War. Learn about conscientious objecting, military recruiting, GI Rights, and the possible draft with Bill Galvin, the Counseling Coordinator from The Center on Conscience and War in Washington D.C.

For more information, contact: West Virginia Patriots for Peace, P.O. Box 3482, Charleston, WV 25334; patriots.news@verizon.net; 304.988.1717; www.wvpatriotsforpeace.org. Event cosponsored by: American Friends Service Committee; Military Families Speak Out; National Lawyers Guild: WV Chapter; Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition; Veterans for Peace West Virginia Citizen Action Group; West Virginia Interfaith Center on Public Policy.

June 4: 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Military Service and Our Youth: Rights and Risks -A Training for Counselors on Military Recruitment at St. John's Episcopal Church Charleston, WV -Approved for Licensed Professional Counselor and Social Worker Continuing Education Credit (CEU's); -Lunch and material provided at no cost; Registration required; click here for registration form. This program is designed for pastors, youth counselors, career counselors and others who work with young adults contemplating military service. Registration required by May 20, click here for registration form.

June 9: Coalimpoundment.org training in Pineville, Wyoming County. Optional computer session will be 6-7 p.m. General meeting 7-9. Location TBA. Come express your concerns about coal sludge impoundments and get your questions answered! In the computer session learn to use www.coalimpoundment.org.

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www.ohvec.org       304-522-0246        vivian@ohvec.org

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