$20 million in civil penalties and more

Submitted by Susan Miller on Sat, 01/19/2008 - 16:55.


Stream polluted by mountaintop removal

Friday Jan 18, NYTimes writes "The nation’s fourth-largest coal producer, the Massey Energy Company, was hit Thursday with a $20 million fine, the largest civil penalty ever levied by the federal government for a pollution violation of this type under the Clean Water Act.

The fine was part of a $30 million settlement with the government over accusations that the company violated water pollution permit limits more than 4,500 times from January 2000 to December 2006. The government said Massey had polluted and clogged hundreds of streams and rivers in Kentucky and West Virginia by releasing millions of pounds of metals, sediments and acid mine drainage into their waterways.

Here's the article U.S. Fines Mine Owner $20 Million for Pollution

And we want to do what; buy power for the next 50 years from a new coal fired power plant? Did we lose our thinking caps!!!!????

Read this PD article from October to see what Matt Zone thinks and plans and then click here to read about other villages and download what Bill Callahan thinks. Somehow Bill's argument strikes me as more well considered than Matt's. How about you?

Here's another perspective on coal from John Bolton, MD via Hillbilly Savants (I love the description of this blog -- "This blog is about our Appalachia - the real one, not the Hollywood-stereotype nor the third-world nation-esque stereotype being sold by do-gooders, or even the neo-Romantic sylvan stereotype that Rousseau would probably buy into. It should be interesting."

Here's what John had to say:
"If you think that having a coal fired power plant next door to your town will be an asset, drive up to what is left of the community of South Clinchfield,VA, in the shadow of AEP's Clinch River (Carbo) plant. Talk to the residents as I have. Listen to their stories of fumes from the smokestack flooding down to ground level when a cool night brings a temperature inversion. Hear how dust from the trucks coats the skin of their infants and blackens their bath water as if they had been working in the mines. Does it also fill their lungs? Sadly, only time will tell. I do not think that "black lung" benefits will be available to neighborhood children or adults who will be forced breathe rock and coal dust from the waste coal trucks. Add to this the fumes from a coal fired power plant and confine them in the small bowl that contains the town of St Paul. This could be a true witch's brew."

We want to saddle Southern Ohio (and the rest of the watershed which by the way includes the land west of the Appalachians to the Mississippi River and all the way to the Gulf of Mexico) with this??!! Really? Isn't there an alternative? The streams will look a funny color and it won't be someone's greywater system dye.

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Clean Coal is an Oxymoron

Reclaimed Land

The reclaimed land in Southern Ohio near West Virginia is all polluted with these type of toxins.... I have seen it firsthand while hunting. The new individual owners of these reclaimed properties from the coal mines have been dealing with this pollution issue for years. They cannot even imagine puttin up houses because of the amounts of polluted waters in the region. Those companies used to drive into Ohio and literally dump their garbage and toxic waste in the bowels of the coal mine regions...the water actually GLOWS down there...it's highly questionable and fearful. Heck, the wild life drink that water...the cycle of life then rotates....Hope our world of folks keep their watchful eyes open, their words express, and work to prevent more of this type of abuse of the Appalachia region and the world around us.