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. 

December 2007

Judge: Valley Fill Damages Trump $$$ Lost
20 Years of Standing Our Ground
Changing Course: Windcall and the Art of Renewal
Highlights of OVECs History 20 Years of STANDING OUR GROUND
State Supreme Court Upholds Verdict Against Coal Company Over Destroyed Water Wells
Sludge Safety Project Makes Progress on Study
OSM Gets an Earful on Plan to Weaken Mining Rules
65 Percent of Americans Oppose Bush Plan for Buffer Zone Rules 
West Virginia Council of Churches Statement on Mountaintop Removal
Good Blue Dogs Helping to Raise Funds for OVEC This Christmas
Praying for the Land and People Victimized by MTR
Update on Blair Mountain
Strip Mining Damages Nature
A Note from Maria Gunnoe
David vs. Goliath Award Goes to OVECs Boone County Organizer
Tips on Writing a Letter to the Editor - Do It TODAY!
Clean Politics = Public Financing - It Really Is That Simple
Clean Elections: Control How You Pay for Politics
Piper Funds Challenge Grant Goal Exceeded! THANKS!!!!!
Eastern Panhandle Woman Pushes for Clean Elections
Why Dont Regulators Do Their Jobs? OVEC Answers
Delegate Wants Public Financing Law
OVEC Works! Thanks!
Public Energy Authority Not Serving Public: Manchins Coal-to-Liquids Energy Plan Gets Little Support
Mingo Residents Gather to Celebrate, Better their County
The Appalachian Adventure
Oh, Yeah, That's A Great Spot for A Mountaintop Removal Mine!
This Summers Story Voices of Those Hurt by Mountaintop Removal Mining
Ink Cartridge Recycling Program Sinks, But You Can Still EAT FOR OVEC
This Cant Happen in America, Can It?  No, Only in Central Appalachia - So Far

For viewing the PDF version of the newsletter

Winds of Change Newsletter, December 2007     See sidebar for table of contents

State Supreme Court Upholds Verdict Against Coal Company Over Destroyed Water Wells

by Tom Searls, Charleston Gazette, Sept. 13, 2007

The state Supreme Court upheld a Mingo Circuit Court ruling Wednesday ordering a coal company to provide potable water to people whose water supply has been contaminated.

Residents of four Mingo County communities said Rawl Sales & Processing Co., a subsidiary of Massey Energy Co., had destroyed their water quality. The Mingo County court had ordered the company to provide emergency temporary drinking water to people whose water supply has been contaminated.

Instead, Rawl appealed the order to the state Supreme Court, where justices unanimously rejected their arguments and declined to hear the case Wednesday.

The original 2006 circuit court order said the firm should provide bottled water each week to 194 people in the Lick Creek, Rawl, Merrimac and Sprigg areas.

After the company refused, residents received water from the Mingo County Office of Emergency Services.

The order is related to litigation accusing Rawl of contaminating wells with coal slurry. Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury noted it would be up to a jury to decide if the firm is responsible for polluting the water system, but issued the order because a preponderance of "evidence tends to implicate the defendant."

Rawl’s appeal maintained that most of the plaintiffs hadn’t proved they live near contaminated water.

But while the Supreme Court upheld the circuit court ruling, it comes a little late.

Using federal Abandoned Mine Lands money, water lines from the city of Williamson have already been extended to the residents. The circuit court held the order in abeyance only until potable water was available to the residents.

About 450 plaintiffs have sued Massey and Rawl over the alleged contamination since September 2004, according to a Massey quarterly report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Massey said in the filing that its insurance should cover the damages.

(Ed. Note: The trial is set for May, 2008)


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