CLIMATE GROUND ZERO
WEST VIRGINIA 2010
Climate Ground Zero is the name of one, among many organizations fighting Mountaintop (MTR) removal in Appalachia. MTR is a coal mining practice where the top of mountains are blown-up in order to uncover coal seems. The earth from the mountaintop is then dumped in nearby valleys, creating a flat area called a valley fill. Dynamite blasts are so strong that can crack the foundations and walls of nearby houses. It has been estimates that this type of mining dries up an average of 100 wells a year and contaminates water.
The quality and availability of drinking water is a key concerns for local minefield communities. Thousands of square kilometers in the Appalachia are now and destroyed due to MTR.
Dave chops wood for winter in Rock Creek
Morgantown WV (USA), September 2010 - NIOSH National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
The " Black Lung ", the coal worker's pneumoconiosis (CWP) is a killer for coal miners. Thousands of American miners die from CWP.
The Twilight Mountaintop Removal mine site as seen from a Southwings fly over.
From their website : Southwings provides experiential understanding of environmental challenges and opportunities for conservation. We provide a means to educate public and elected officials, media, community leaders, researchers and conservation organizations."
The Marsh Fork Elementary School in Sundial has been a point of great debate. The school is located 400 yards down slope from a mountaintop removal mine. On the mining site above the school, operated by Massey Energy, lies the Shumate sludge impoundment. With 2.8 billion gallons of coal sludge held back by a 385-foot-high earthen dam, it is one of West Virginia’s largest impoundments.
View of Williamson, Mingo Co. West Virginia.
Lick Water WV (USA), December 2010. Jackie waits for her husband to get into their driveway.
Naoma, West Virginia, September 2010 - Some people in the Coal River Valley still heat their house with wooden or coal stoves.
Arnett, WV (USA), September 2010 - Amish buggy dressed for halloween
Rock Creek (USA), WV, September 2010 - Kids from the Marsh fork elementary school.
The economy of West Virginia nominally would be the 62nd largest economy globally behind Iraq and ahead of Croatia according to 2009 World Bank projections.
Coal field residents formerly employed in strip mining.
Arnett WV (USA) Coal Field resident pats her dog. His husband is a coal miner who lost his left leg on the job in a underground mine.
Two man take a break from a day of beer drinking and wood chopping in Naoma, WV.
Rock Creek WV,(USA) Mike Roselle, Junior Walk and other volunteers at Climate Ground Zero/Coal River Mountain Watch activist camp. Volunteers gathered from all around the nation to connect and fight against MTR
Larry Gibson (1946 – September 9, 2012) was a renowned anti-mining environmentalist from West virginia who spent the majority of his adult life opposing mountaintop coal mining in the area, specifically at Keyford Mountain. He was president of the Keeper of the Mountains Foundation and lifetime member of the Sierra Club. He also was a board member for the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition. Read more about Larry.
Two activists in the guilly suits they built to monitor illicit activities in strip mines.
he Hobet MTR Mine site, West Virginia, September 2010 Mountaintop removal / valley fill coal mining (MTR) has been called strip mining on steroids. One author says the process should be more accurately named: mountain range removal. http://www.mountainjusticesummer.org/facts/steps.php
Activist Bridgette O' Brien taken into custody in front of the White House during the Appalachia Rising campaign in 2010.
Activist Bridgette O' Brien in the headquarter of the Climate Ground Zero campaign in Rock Creek
Old disused mine.
Rawl WV (USA), September 2010 - A men smelling the odor out of well water.
For decades, coal companies in Appalachia have injected slurry into worked-out mines as a cheap alternative to dams and other systems that can safely store or treat it.
The plaintiffs of the Rawl Slurry Litigation are now mostly served by a public water system, but they argue that chronic exposure to metals and chemicals are to blame for birth defects and other health problems.
Merrimac WV (USA), September 2010 -
Back of coal field resident who contracted a melanoma from water drinking in Rawl, Mingo county. All his family have been affected by water pollution. Rawl is in one the poorest area of Mingo Co.
Well water pollution in Rawl appears to be related to the sludge injections in old coal mines allegedly made by Massey Energy in the past decade.
Naoma. Water reflection of an abandoned building. Depopulation is very strong in the Coal Fields where the only job often available is with the coal operators who eventually move elsewhere when the coal runs out. Several bankrupt abruptly this way.
Lindytown WV. Lindytown was an unincorporated community in Boone County,
It was located at the feet of a large mountain top removal. Read more about Lindytown
Coal River Valley. Road sign.
Arnett, Coal River Road. A building has burnet in the night. Many shop and small business eventually burn down in the vally. Coal Fields residents like to say that is just what happend, and they often blame the coal companies, for trying to send away everyone that diversify the economy
Hydroseed sprayed in a country road in the proximity of a large strip mine by the border between West Virginia and Kentucky.
Delbarton, Mingo County, West Virginia, September 2010 Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) is currently the main pollutant of surface water in the mid-Atlantic region. AMD is caused when water flows over or through sulfur-bearing materials forming solutions of net acidity. AMD comes mainly from abandoned coal mines and currently active mining. AMD degrades more than 4,500 stream miles in the mid-Atlantic region
Jolo, WV. Tommy Addair, the local pentecostal pastor holds a rattle snake sometimes used for prayer.
Matewan, Mingo Co., West Virginia, September 2010 - Mingo County is a place of hystorical significance for coal miners and Unions on the account of The Battle of Matewan (also known as the Matewan Massacre) . It was a shootout in the town of Matewan, that took place May 19, 1920 between local miners and the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency.
Matewan, Mingo Co., West Virginia, September 2010 - Family watching a coal train hauling away from the town. Mingo County is a place of hystorical significance for coal miners and Unions on the account of The Battle of Matewan (also known as the Matewan Massacre) . It was a shootout in the town of Matewan, that took place May 19, 1920 between local miners and the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency.
Naoma, West Virginia, September 2010 - Ernie Ruff in front of his house. Ruff is a strong supporter of coal - The writing: "Coal keeps the lights on!" - Mountaintop removal (MTR) mining is a form of surface mining that removes the summit of a mountain by blasting with explosives. It has serious environmental and adverse human health impacts.