Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
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March 2009
Contents

Residents Vent Concerns to DEP
Bush Midnight Rule Change Exposed to Sunlight of Justice
BLACK FRIDAY
Communities Must Organize to Win
Mining the Mountains
Dozens of Boone County Residents File Massive Lawsuit Against Eight Coal Mine Operators About Tainted Water

Coal Companies Cause Loss of Jobs, Not Environmentalists

Come CLEAN: The Citizens Energy Investment Act Needs You
Come Lobby With the Sludge Safety Project
Prenter Gets Funding to Bring Clean Water to the Community
All We Wanted Was Water
Sludge Safety Project Action Goals for the 2009 WV Legislative Session
Coal Slurry Poisons Water Supplies, State Agencies Do Nothing
Lobbying for Change - Now!
DEP Gets Earful on Permit Renewal for Marsh Fork
DEP Still Ducking Its Responsibility
Waste Ponds: An Industry Hazard
OVECs New Organizer Fights to Protect Family Cemetery
OVECs Cemetery Protection Bills Introduced at Legislative Session
Power Company Meets with Stakeholders
Notes from Maria Gunnoe, OVECs Boone County Organizer
Ashford Residents Comments to DEP - Spare Our Community
Why Not Wind?
WV Coal-Ash Dams Infrequently Inspected, DEP Admits
National Park Service Opposes MTR Permit Renewal on Gauley Mountain
Gimme FIVE! - For Clean Election Reforms in WV
Meet, Eat and Greet and Support Clean Elections
Get Active with Clean Elections in WV Now!
WV Residents Join with Indian Tribal Leaders to Protest OSM Actions
Burning the Future Coal in America
Kudos to OVEC
Coalfield Native Writes of Industrys Disregard for Environment 
Drinking Water Problems Obvious, Should Be Investigated
Eating For OVEC Keeps Raising $$$
Voices of Buffalo Creek: A Survivor Speaks Out
Air Quality Compared in Mining and Non-Mining Areas of West Virginia
NPR Interviews OVEC Members on Stream Buffer Zone Rule Change
Role of OVEC and CRMW in Helping with Coal Novel and Film
The Most Important Number on Earth is 350 - Heres Why
Hes a Coallllll Man
Hear This: We Dont Want Sludge in Our Water!
OSM Faults WV Dam Enforcement
SSHhhhhh!! What the Coal Lobby Wants Hidden
Valuing Ecosystem Services: Picturing an End for Mountaintop Removal
Rant on Rahall
Miscellany


For viewing the PDF version of the newsletter

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

Dozens of Boone County Residents File Massive Lawsuit Against Eight Coal Mine Operators About Tainted Water

by Lawrence Keeney, excerpted from Jan. 30, 2009, Coal Valley News

A list of plaintiffs spanning four pages filed a massive civil suit against nine area coal operators in Boone County Circuit Court. The complaint, filed by attorneys John Sutter, Roger Decanio and John Mitchell Sr., alleges the companies were responsible for numerous civil offenses against the families.

 

OVEC board member Chuck Nelson, who has been working with Prenter-area people to try to obtain clean water said, This is a community standing up for its civil and human rights.

The suit was filed against Massey Energy, Omar Mining Co., Independence Coal Co., Elk Run Company, Inc., Black Castle Mining, Peabody Energy, Pine Ridge Coal, Federal Coal and a John Doe corporation.

The plaintiffs are described as "residents and former residents of Seth and Prenter, who have taken their water supply from a drilled well." The complaint continued, "as a result of the actions of the defendants mining operations, the plaintiffs water was contaminated, thereby injuring them, their property and also resulting in and/or contributing to their deaths."

The document also alleged specific acts by the companies. "Massey Energy Co. managed, oversaw, planned, conducted, participated in, allowed and profited from the negligent, dangerous, hazardous and or ultra hazardous mining operations of its subsidiary defendants Omar Mining, Independence Coal, Elk Run Coal and Black Castle Mining Co., in and around Seth and Prenter."

The document also charged that Federal Coal Company, Inc., "owns most, if not all, of the lands upon which the defendants conduct coal mining operations. Defendant Federal Coal Co. managed, oversaw, planned, conducted, participated in, allowed and profited from the negligent, dangerous, hazardous and/or ultra hazardous mining operations of its subsidiary defendants in and around Seth and Prenter."

"The defendants have and/or are currently maintaining impoundments and injecting coal slurry into the ground in and around Seth and Prenter."

The suit claims the companies are conducting underground mining operations around these injection sites and have conducted blasting operations. "The impoundments, underground coal mining and surface operations destabilized various strata overlaying the aquifers and have contaminated aquifers, which supply water to the wells from which the residents of Seth and Prenter draw water."

The attorneys stated in the complaint their intentions to prove that operations conducted by these companies have "rendered the plaintiffs property value worthless, caused carcinogens, diseases, maladies and injuries from which the plaintiffs suffer and makes reasonably necessary the need for the plaintiffs to undergo periodic medical monitoring to screen for the health threats these carcinogens represent."

 

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