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. 

October 2009

Major News: EPA May Do Its Job!
DEP Biologist: Agency Chief Huffmans Testimony to Congress Was Ill Informed

Thinking About Your Legacy: An Open Letter from Dr. Ken Hechler

Reflecting on EPAs Announcement
JOBS in the Coalfields, the Right Way
Families in Mingo Co. Sue Over Flooding
Asking the Highest Court in the Land to Hear Our Case
Dear Friends at OVEC
Lindytown - Threats, Dead Horses and Shattered Dreams As the Draglines Creep Ever Closer
Lindytown - From Nice Little Mountain Town to Virtual Ghost Town
EPA Moves to Block WVs Largest MTR Mining Permit
Corps Approves Controversial Permit Despite EPAs Objections
The Trail of Tears - History Is Repeating Itself in WV
Policy Efforts on Family Cemetery Protection Issues
Join the Cemetery Protection Group And Help Find Long-Term Solutions
Awareness is Where Its At
Please Pray for Webster County
Cook Family Cemeteries: Ancestors No Longer Rest In Peace Due to Mountaintop Removal Mining
Coal Slurry: New York Times Nails Clean Water Act Crimes (Many) and Punishment (None)
Victory! Public Water Lines Finally Coming to Prenter
Goodbye Patricia, Welcome Stephanie! - New Organizer Joins SSP Effort
WVU Studying Effects of Coal Slurry Injection on Health
Working to Reduce Coal Prep Plant Air Pollution
Six Southern WV Communities to Benefit from EPA Grant
Judge Thornsbury Disqualified from Presiding in Slurry Injection Case
Coal Country - the movie: Film Debuts To Packed Crowd After Concerns Almost Cancel Showing
Help End MTR and Help Coal Country Have a Party!
OVEC: Power With!
What Happens In Valleys Is As Important As What Happens On Mountain Peaks
Plundering Appalachia - The Book, Is Here!
Chemicals and Their Dangers Force People From Kanawha Valley
Clean Elections - Saving WV From Future Scandals
Why Manchin and Co. Dont Care About Health in the Coalfields
Eating For OVEC Keeps Raising $$$
Carbon Tax: Our ACES in the Hole for Real Change
Report: Global Warming Causes 300,000 Deaths A Year, Toll to Increase
Remembering Conley Branch - May It Always Be In My Heart
United Against MTR:
Red Bandanas, Dreadlocks, Clean-Cut, Old Folks and Young
TV News Fails to Cover Mountaintop Removal Well, Or At All
Nominations for OSM Chief
University Divesting of Massey Stock, Others May Follow
Toxic Legislation: Selenium at the Legislature; OVEC Appeal to EPA

For viewing the PDF version of the newsletter

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

DEP Biologist: Agency Chief Huffmans Testimony to Congress Was Ill Informed

In August, the Charleston Gazette reported on an internal memo written by a WV Department of Environmental Protection biologist. The memo said that DEP Secretary Randy Huffman was ill informed when he testified before Congress about the damage being done by mountaintop removal coal mining.

Huffman spoke before a Senate subcommittee in June, saying that theres little evidence that mountaintop removal is doing much damage to Appalachian streams. OVECs Maria Gunnoe also spoke before that subcommittee about the impacts mountaintop removal has had on her family, her community and the streams near her home.

The three-page memo, written by Doug Wood, a stream assessment biologist with the DEPs Division of Water and Waste Management, conveyed Woods hope that Huffman "will be better informed the next time he represents our agencys current state of knowledge to federal authorities and elected representatives."

Wood wrote about numerous reports he has produced since 2002. Wood wrote, "it appears that Secretary Huffman is unaware of the findings of our efforts to understand the effects of mountaintop coal extraction to aquatic ecosystems in West Virginia."

The Gazette reported that Wood didnt send his memo directly to Huffman, but rather sent it to his DEP supervisors. One of them, Pat Campbell, told reporter Ken Ward Jr., "Im really not so much concerned about the content, but with how this document got to you," Campbell said. "This was an internal memo that nobody has had a chance to read yet."

Campbell told the Gazette he was preparing a memo for Huffman, because he had also noted an inaccuracy in Huffmans testimony to the Senate Environment and Public Works.

The week after the Gazette article ran, DEP issued a statement in response, which Ward posted to his Coal Tattoo blog, and which confounded many Tattoo readers with its circular logic.

To read Woods memo, with explanations on the science that says mountaintop removal is negatively impacting streams, and to explore the DEPs convoluted follow-up and reader reaction, see "WV DEP responds to Gazette article on MTR memo" at blogs.wvgazette.com/coaltattoo/


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