October 24, 2009: Just last night, there were confirmed reports that Massey Energy has begun blasting on Coal River Mountain in southern West Virginia. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has stated that the mining operation on the mountain is “actively moving coal.” Workers were seen throughout this past week moving heavy equipment up to the mining zones, and blasting and plumes of smoke were seen and heard near the Brushy Fork coal slurry impoundment on Friday.
The Brushy Fork impoundment is an enormous retention pond holding 8.2 billion gallons of toxic coal slurry waste. If the impoundment were to fail due to the blasting, hundreds of lives will be lost and thousands more will be in jeopardy from an enormous slurry flood.
A 2006 study confirmed that Coal River Mountain — which has the highest peaks ever slated for mining in the state — is an ideal location for developing utility-scale wind power. Local residents have rallied around this proposal as a symbol of hope, a promise of a new and cleaner energy future, but that hope may be destroyed unless quick and decisive action is taken right now.
Please call or fax a letter to President Obama today at 202-456-1414/fax number: 202-456-2461 and implore him to use his agencies and influence with West Virginia politicians to stop the destruction of Coal River Mountain immediately!