Elk Valley Rally Press Advisory

Press Advisory
2 August 2005

For more information:
john johnson – 865.522.6527
Amanda Womac – 865.406.2964

Environmentalists and Citizens Take a Stand Against Mountaintop Mining in Tennessee

Who: Mountain Justice Summer

What: Protest Rally and March

When: Sunday, 7 August, 2005, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. est.

Where: Elk Valley, Campbell County, North of Knoxville (Directions: From I-75N take exit 141 to Hwy 63W. Follow 63W for 4.6 miles and turn right at Pioneer Post Office on to 297E. Follow road about 5 miles down, passing a cabinet shop and a church on left. About .5 mile after that, turn left onto Lick Fork Rd. Please park in the area provided. We will gather in the lot and then march to the mine site about an eighth of a mile down on right.)

Why: Mountain Justice Summer is a coalition of environmentalists and community members across Appalachia that seeks to add to the growing anti-mountaintop removal citizens’ movement. Specifically MJS demands an abolition of mountaintop removal, steep slope strip mining and all other forms of surface mining for coal. We want to protect the cultural and natural heritage of the Appalachia coal fields. We want to contribute with grassroots organizing, public education, nonviolent civil disobedience and other forms of citizen action.

We will deliver demands to the National Coal Corporation regarding their Mine #7 at Zeb Mountain where they are currently removing three peaks using cross-ridge mining, a form of area mining that blows off the top of the mountain. This practice of strip mining differs from mountaintop mining in that the peaks are “reclaimed” after the mining process is over; meaning the coal companies put the peaks back together. The demands Mountain Justice Summer will make to the National Coal Corporation are as follows:

1) Shut down the Zeb Mountain mine and stop all surface mining because it destroys watersheds, pollutes drinking water, blocks access to public land, and destroys forest ecosystems, fishing and hunting areas;

2) Employ local residents in FULL restoration, not reclamation, of previously mined areas;

3) Give reparations to those who have been adversely impacted by destructive strip mining.

We also seek to raise awareness of mountaintop mining in Tennessee at the rally. Speakers from across Appalachia will testify on mountaintop mining and how it affects them. Musicians will play guitars and fiddles, and colorful theatre will demonstrate the effects of mountaintop mining in Tennessee.

Folks from all over the country stand in solidarity with the impacted folks in Appalachia. This area is one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet and has been recognized as a National Treasure. Our mountains define our culture, our heritage, and our existence. Appalachia is a biologically rich area that does not need to be destroyed for coal. Governor Bredesen and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation have a duty to enforce laws and protect water quality in Tennessee. We ask that they enforce laws to prohibit destructive forms of strip mining from destroying water quality in Tennessee.

For more information about Mountain Justice Summer, go to http://www.mountainjusticesummer.org.

For more information:

Amanda Womac – 865.406.2964

john johnson – 865.522.6527