Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition Action Alert

June 4
Alert Archive

OVEC Action Alert
Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition


 June 13: Energy Independence Day Cookout in Mingo County
Energy Independence Day broadens the scope of Juneteenth emancipation vision to include rural Appalachian communities that have been marginalized and held back by the economic inefficiencies of the boom and bust realities found in the coal industry over the past 150 years.

So writes Eric Mathias, project director of the Mingo County-based JOBS Project, a group of organizations developing green jobs and renewable energy options for West Virginia communities. Read the rest of Eric's op-ed in the Charleston Gazette here, and please come to the Energy Independence Day cook-out on June 13. Bring a friend and enjoy free food, music, and workshops.  We'll be talking about how we can bring new jobs and a sustainable future to southern West Virginia and the Appalachian coalfields. Details here. And, here's a flier for the event. Please print and post the fliers at your school, office or friendly business.

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 Mountain Aid in the News; Come Out June 19-20
Our June 19-20 Mountain Aid concert is in the news. Next week, OVEC community organizer Maria Gunnoe, concert organizer Michael O'Connell's documentary film Mountain Top Removal and concert performer Ben Sollee will appear at Bonnaroo in order to promote Mountain Aid and further raise awareness about mountaintop removal. At Mountain Aid itself, Aurora Lights will release Still Moving Mountains, the follow-up to the fund-raising CD Moving Mountains.

Mountain Aid promises to be loads of fun, plus, when you purchase tickets, you help raise funds for the Pennies of Promise campaign, OVEC and Coal River Mountain Watch. We hope to see you there. Take time to play; recharge to prevail!

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Sludge Safety Project Needs You in Mid-June
If you have been following the news we've posted on the Sludge Safety Project website, you know that the WV Department of Environmental Protection has finally "completed" the study mandated by SCR15 (the sludge injection study we won in 2007). DEP chief Randy Huffman is due to present the study's findings during the WV Legislature's June Interims, which run June 15 -17.  We need you at this presentation! It's likely we will not know the exact date, location and time of the presentation until the last minute, so please watch this SSP webpage for updates.  

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 Got Sludge Contamination? Call EPA!
Please contact the federal EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) directly if you suspect your water has been contaminated by the underground injection of coal slurry. The EPA is interested in environmental justice issues, as well as water contamination, and the agency wants to hear from you.

EPA encourages you to e-mail and call. E-mails result in a written record and calls allow you personal interaction -- so, hmmm... do both!
Contact: Mark Nelson (304-234-0286) UIC Mid Atlantic Region - nelson.mark@epa.gov
Andrea Bennett (215-814-5736) Drinking Water Mid Atlantic Region - bennett.andrea@epa.gov

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 Want to End Mountaintop Removal? Jim Hightower Says Call Obama's CEQ Today
Did you catch this LA Times article that has been reprinted in newspapers around the country? Jim Hightower did. In "Stopping the Desecration of Mountaintop Removal," Hightower urges everyone to contact Obama's Council on Environmental Quality:

This is a case where public outrage can make a difference. Obama and team snuck out the 42 permits without even notifying the public, but they won't be able to ambush us on the other applications. Rather than throwing up our hands in disgust at their first action, now is the time for us to flex some grass-roots political muscle.

To let him know we expect no more weaseling on his pledge to stop "blowing the tops off mountains," call the White House operator and ask for Nancy Sutley. She heads Obama's Council on Environmental Quality and needs to hear that We the People give a damn: (202) 456-1414. 

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 Do More Than Call - Lobby
The coal industry and its bought-and-paid-for politicians are bludgeoning... err... lobbying the Obama administration to further relax the already unenforced rules on mountaintop removal! Fight back - in person. Here's a message from The Alliance for Appalachia:

As you may know, this is an incredibly crucial time for the Clean Water Protection (HR 1310) in the House and our brand new baby, the Appalachian Restoration Act (S 696), in the Senate. One thing that really puts pressure on the Obama administration is having more co-sponsors for these bills that would end valley fills. For more info on the bills, click here and see the sidebar at right. 

To lobby for these bills, we are heading to DC on June 15-18 and on July 27-30. We'll work for at-home meetings with Congresspeople and Senators in August, then we'll head to DC again  September 14-18 . You can help by coming to DC, recruiting people to come to DC, or setting up an in-district meeting with your legislator this August to discuss mountaintop removal. If nothing else, please send a letter or call.

These bills could pass in 2009 or 2010 - but not with out real human beings, who know about mountaintop removal firsthand, walking the halls in DC. The National Mining Association recently bullied key Democrats into signing a letter asking the Army Corps to permit more mines - we've got to be walking the halls refuting their arguments and supporting the legislators who sign on.

The Alliance for Appalachia can cover expenses, make arrangements, and set you up with folks who will show you the ropes. Please reply to this e-mail if you are interested.  

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 Save the Date: June 23
June 23 is a Tuesday, so consider taking the day off work. Save the date. More info coming...

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 Remember, Eat for OVEC
If you already have your Kroger Gift Card assigned to benefit OVEC, thank you and please remember to keep the card active by adding money to it before you go shopping. If you don't have this card yet, click here to learn more about this no-additional-cost-to-you way to support OVEC. To receive your card, print and mail-in this form along with your check. If you have questions about the program, reply to this e-mail. 

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 Reminders: Hearing Tuesday, More
Info here: Ansted citizens and Gauley Mountain need you June 9 (and maybe June 10, too).

Info here: July 11: Save the Date! West Virginia premier of Coal Country. The book that accompanies this documentary is available at a discount if you pre-order

Awareness Going on Now

Going on now, an art exhibit sponsored by OVEC.  May 30 - June 30, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.: "Awareness," an art exhibit sponsored by OVEC. Free. From traditional fine art mediums to taxidermy, an exhibition of five visual artists raising awareness of environmental issues surrounding everyday life. Venue: Habitat for Humanity Restore, 815 Young Street, Charleston, W.Va. Opening reception is June 24, 6-8 p.m.

August 23: Charleston, WV Capitol Building Stage. Aurora Lights Release Party for the second stop mountaintop removal benefit CD. The CD is titled Still Moving Mountains: The Journey Home. Groups that will appear at this event include Everett Lilly & the Lilly Mountaineers (International Bluegrass Musical Association Hall of Honor Winner) and The LoneTones (TN originals with Appalachian Roots). Volunteers needed for this event. Contact Danielle Henry at Danif1000@aol.com  or 716-432-9455.

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

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