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
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
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
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
firstname.lastname@example.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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Register by May 20 for the June 4 training on Military Service
and Our Youth: Rights and Risks -A Training for Counselors on Military
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;
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
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,
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
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