Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
Archive list of "E"- Notes newsletters

Click links below to read articles online, or try the PDF version to view or print an exact replica of the paper newsletter. 

April 2006

Federal Judge Blocks Massey Mine Expansion
The Appalachian Coalfield Delegation to the United Nations
The Madagascar Periwinkle and Me
Community Shares - A New Way to Give That Can Make A Difference
Why We Go to the United Nations
Anne Breden: Goodbye to A Friend
Sympathy Extended to Families of Two OVEC Supporters
Leaked Massey Memo Is Blunt - Mine Coal, or Else!
Closer, But No Victory Dance for Clean Elections Yet
Arizona Official Says Campaign Finance Reform Working Great
Bill Moyers: This Is A Time for Heresy, Democracy is For Sale
Mountain State a Test Bed for Election-Funding Rules

1,200 Coal-Fired Plants Headed Our Way Within 10 Years

Victory: A Break In the Smog
Mountaintop Removal Mining Visible - From Space!
DEP Denies Massey Air Quality Permit Near Marsh Fork School
Appalachian Spring: Or, What it looks like NOW, as opposed to what it SHOULD look like
JOIN US FOR Healing Mountains
Mountain Justice Summer: MOP Up Mountaintop Removal!
MJS 2006: A Call to Action
Rape of the Mountains - A Personal Perspective

Coal Sludge and Groundwater Don't Mix

Wrap-Up of Legislative Efforts to Achieve Sludge Safety
Living with Bad Water: And This Is Happening in America?
Its Bad When Coal Waste Gets in the Water
Gods Creation: Coal Industry Does Not Practice Good Stewardship
The Character of Mountains
Residents Worry About Sludge Pond Hazards

Censored: Libraries Dont Like WV Childs Story About MTR

DEP Trying to Settle Hundreds of Massey Pollution Violations

Global Warming Already Here in the Mountain State

Massive Media Monitoring of Mountaintop Massacre
Hobet Ville
Thank You

For viewing the PDF version of the newsletter

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

Federal Judge Blocks Massey Mine Expansion

by Ken Ward Jr., Charleston Gazette, March 26, 2006

The latest courtroom battle to curb mountaintop removal coal mining is starting to heat up.

On Friday, a federal judge in Huntington blocked expansion of a Massey Energy mine near the intersection of Kanawha, Fayette and Raleigh counties.

U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambersalso set a hearing for early April to consider a request for a broader court order to block permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (Ed. Note: That hearing is now moved to June 19.)

Over the last seven years, two federal judges in West Virginia have issued rulings to more tightly regulate mountaintop removal.

Those rulings, by the late Judge Charles H. Haden II and Judge Joseph R. Goodwin, were both overturned by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

One of those cases is now back before Goodwin. Environmental group lawyers have asked the judge to rule on several issues that were not considered in his previous decision or in the Fourth Circuit appeal.

And last month, two West Virginia judges who served on the Fourth Circuit issued a harsh dissent that supports Goodwins original ruling.

The Appalachian mountains, the oldest mountain chain in the world, are one of the nations richest, most diverse and most delicate ecosystems, an ecosystem that mountaintop coal mining authorized by the corps general permit may irrevocably damage, Judges Robert B. King and M. Blane Michael said in their dissent

In the current case, Chambers is being asked to force the Corps of Engineers to conduct broad environmental impact studies on every application for a new mountaintop removal permit.

Lawyers for the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and other groups specifically targeted permits for three Massey Energy operations based in Boone, Kanawha and Logan counties.

The case is a follow-up to Goodwins ruling to block the corps from reviewing valley fill proposals through a streamlined general permit process.

In the new case, the environmentalists argue that the corps was wrong to approve mining operations through more detailed individual permit reviews because those reviews did not include a study called an Environmental Impact Statement.

The mining and valley fills at these three mines collectively will destroy over 2,000 acres of land and smother over seven miles of streams, the lawyers said in the court papers. Yet, the corps has neglected to examine in a meaningful way the inevitable damage that will be caused by these mines, or to develop any realistic plan for mitigating that damage.

A gigantic coal sludge lake in southern West Virginia, as seen from a SouthWings airplane flight. Like mountaintop removal mining, scores of  such ponds endanger downstream residents and businesses.
A gigantic coal sludge lake in southern West Virginia, as seen from a SouthWings airplane flight. Like mountaintop removal mining, scores of such ponds endanger downstream residents and businesses.


     OVEC Home   Issues   Contact   Join