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February 27, 2013

Public Hearing RE-SCHEDULED on HB 2579 - Allowing More Toxic Selenium in WV Waters

New Date and Time:
When: 2:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M., Monday, March 4, 2013
Where: House Chambers

If you have immediate questions about HB 2579 and the public hearing contact:

Denise Poole (304) 617-8402


HB 2579, introduced just six days ago, would eliminate the compliance schedules for coal companies to meet the current EPA water quality standard for toxic selenium, and mandate that the Department of Environmental Protection issue new “state-specific” selenium standards that could be weaker than the current EPA standards.

This bill is being pushed by the WV Coal Association and has been put on the fast track for adoption by the House Judiciary Committee. However, Judiciary Committee Chairman Tim Miley (D-Harrison) has granted the WV Environmental Council's request for a public hearing on this terrible piece of legislation.

Selenium is a naturally occurring element that ends up in rivers and streams when rock and soil from mountaintop removal sites are discarded. In small amounts, it is harmless, but some studies have found that it is toxic to aquatic life and humans in larger amounts. Recent studies have found fish samples taken from Mud River, close to a large mountaintop removal mine site, exhibiting deformities.

The public hearing is your chance to tell legislators that you do NOT want MORE selenium in West Virginia rivers and streams, and that coal companies must be required to remove it from their stream discharges.

We hope to see you there! So do these Mud River fish:

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March 5: Rally to Stop MTR and Save Blair Mountain
Join the Blair Mountain Heritage Alliance in downtown Charleston, WV in putting pressure on the banks that fund mountaintop removal operations like the Adkins Fork permit at the historically recognized site of Blair Mountain.  Wear your red bandanas and bring your signs.

We’ll meet up at the Riverfront Park at Kanawha Blvd East and Summers Street in Charleston. We will march a half-mile to Morgan Stanley’s Charleston branch, where we will have a rally to stop mountaintop removal and the destruction of Blair Mountain.

You can watch this video explaining why the Adkins Fork is so harmful. Without financing from banks like Morgan Stanley, companies such as Arch Coal and Alpha Natural Resources would not be able to engage in the devastating practice of mountaintop removal mining.

It is time to demand that these financial institutions be held accountable for the human rights violations they are engaged in. We will be rallying at Morgan Stanley’s branch in Charleston in order to demand that they live up to their promise to "do the right thing." Funding the destruction of communities, mountains, heritage, and health is not the "right thing."

Learn more here and/or sign up on this Facebook page.

Whether or not you can make it to the rally, please take a few minutes to complete this online action asking banks to stop funding mountaintop removal.

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Sign the Clean Elections Petition
Please take a few minutes to sign our petition about Clean Elections for West Virginia. Sign here and learn more here.

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Marcellus Citizen Lobbying Days
The West Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club is organizing Marcellus Citizen Lobbying Day each Tuesday of the 2013 West Virginia Legislative Session. For details, reply to this e-mail and we'll forward the information.

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In This Alert

Public Hearing on Allowing More Toxic Selenium in WV Streams

March 5: Rally to Stop MTR
and Save Blair Mountain

Sign the Clean Elections Petition

Marcellus Citizen Lobbying Days

Ah, if only it were all flowers and fuzzies under the Golden Dome. But dark forces are at work. Come out, sign on, take part.
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