Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
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August 2009
Contents

Floods ... Again
OVEC Organizer Wins International Recognition with Green Nobel
JOBS and Energy Answers for Our WV Mountain Communities
Picnic for Green JOBS
MTR Mining Equipment Taken Off Gauley Mountain For Now
Board Adds Conditions to Disputed Fayette County Mine Permit
Lets Make Sure the Transition to a Clean, Green Energy Future in WV is a Peaceful One
Calling All Potential New OVEC Board of Directors Members!
Congress Doesnt Always Want to Come CLEAN
The CLEAN Citizens Leading For Energy Action Now
American Clean Energy Security Act: Coal Rewarded
Good Gosh, We Could Have Used That Money to Jump Start the Clean Energy Future in America!
Slurry Lawsuit Settlers Frustrated With Wait for Money
Mountains Aided With First-Ever Fundraising Concert in North Carolina
Sludge Safety Project Legislative Session Wrap-Up
DEPs Sludge Study Results: Agency Still Dont Know Nuthin
OVEC Organizer Testifies at Senate MTR Hearing
Thanks for All the Volunteers Who Helped After the Floods
Fighting For Our Ancestors Resting Places
Lobbying for Green Jobs in DC
Growing Movement Demands Protection for Mountains, Climate, Humanity
Environmental Groups Ask EPA to Take Over WV Pollution Permitting
Byrds Eye View: Staffers Get Close-Up Views of Mountain Range Removal
A Good Win in A Critical Federal Court Case Against MTR
Judicial Bill Pulled by Governor
Supreme Court Case Makes WV A National Laughingstock
Eating For OVEC Keeps Raising $$$
Photovoice Participants Capture their Communities in Images
Photovoice Exhibitions Well Covered By Local and Statewide Media
You Dont Have to Go to Copenhagen to Make a Difference
Obama and Mountaintop Removal Mining: The Roller Coaster Ride
New CD Celebrates Coalfield Resistance to Mountaintop Removal
Blair Mountain and the National Register of Historic Places
Ashford Yesterday, Today and Maybe Tomorrow?
Come Home to West Virginia? Buyer Beware!
Louv-ley Day in Charleston
Who Are They Kidding?
Web Extras:
Open Letter to Governor Manchin about Blair Mountain
Matewan, West Virginia


For viewing the PDF version of the newsletter

 
Winds of Change Newsletter, August 2009     See sidebar for table of contents

MTR Mining Equipment Taken Off Gauley Mountain For Now

Powellton Coal blames economic factors, but continues fight for permit renewal

Sustained Outrage on Gauley Mountain - DEP Renews Fayette Permit

by Katheryne Hoffman

With our indifference, we have allowed an industry, completely out of control since its inception, to destroy our beautiful state, pollute our air and water, destroy our wildlife habitat, strip the land of its substance and beauty and destroy the graves of our ancestors.

This is an industry with more power than the Mafia, and it wields its power by intimidation, false propaganda and arrogance. Why? Because it can!

Most of our legislators and our governor invariably kowtow to the demands of King Coal. Our Senators and Congressman represent him to the exclusion of the rights of the citizens of this state. They are all complicit in the rape of our state and the abuse of our people.

Finally, on February 12, at Ansted Middle School, I saw some of the sustained outrage that could prevent the continued destruction of our mountains and homes, if only we had a real Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). This public hearing was held by the DEP to gather citizen input on a proposed renewal of a mining permit that is part of Powellton Coals larger mining complex on Gauley Mountain. About 170 people turned out not one spoke in favor of granting the permit renewal.

All of these persons were there to ask the DEP not to renew a mining permit that would further encroach onto the beautiful Gauley Mountain range which is already being damaged by mountaintop removal.

According to the DEPs own records, the permittee a subsidiary of Consol Energy had violated the permit that it was trying to renew hundreds of times. Indeed, the permittee had three unabated Notices of Violation and is continually discharging illegal pollution into Rich Creek of the Gauley River. Rich Creek is one of the few naturally reproducing trout streams in West Virginia.

After an hour of dawdling and doublespeak by the DEP, the people were allowed to speak. They did so with heartfelt eloquence and accurate factual information that should have led to the denial of this permit renewal.

However, as usual, the ruling by the DEP was seemingly a foregone conclusion. DEP of course renewed the permit.

What we have is not a WV Department of Environmental Protection, but rather a Department of Environmental Permitting, where the mining of coal must be permitted at all costs to the land and the people.

Once again we are confronted with the cold fact that the beautiful mountains of West Virginia are expendable. The graves of our ancestors are expendable. The people of West Virginia are expendable. But not to those of us who remain outraged and willing to fight for them.

 

 

 

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