All that coal comes with baggage and outrage and few enough people seem to even know about it, let alone get their backs up about it.
A coalition of environmental groups has taken action against coal giant Massey Energy for over 12,000 violations of the Clean Water Act and surface mining laws associated with their mining activity in West Virginia.
The groups, including the Sierra Club, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Coal River Mountain Watch, and the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, claim that Massey violated its effluent limits at its various operations at least 971 times, accruing 12,977 days of violation between April 1, 2008 and March 31, 2009.
Massey and its subsidiaries operate dozens of mountaintop removal and other large-scale surface mines in Appalachia, using some of the more environmentally destructive types of mining, including mountaintop removal.
“Massey has operated outside the law for far too long,” said Judy Bonds of Coal River Mountain Watch. “There is a history here, not only of Massey ignoring the law, but of state officials ignoring Massey’s violations.”
This is not the first time Massey has been in such blatant violation of Federal statutes — including one of the largest slurry spills ever to take place in the United States. And in 2008, the company was fined $20 million for Clean Water Act violations, similar to those cited by the coalition. The complaint in that case (United States v. Massey) alleged over 60,000 violations over a six-year period.
For more info read Silas House and Jason Howard's book Something's Rising, or just set up a Google alert for the word Appalachia, and be ready to spend considerable time linking and surfing, every day.