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DEP Rescinds Goals Permit!

On July 26 DEP rescinded a permit for Goals Coal Company to build a second coal silo at its preparation plant in Sundial. DEP issued the permit on June 30. Charleston Gazette reporter Ken Ward published reports that Goals began construction before the permit was issued, and that permit maps show that the silo fell outside an old permit boundary (click on links to stories below). Surface mining laws forbid permits within 300 feet of a school. The DEP initially granted despite the fact that the silo would sit beside Marsh Fork Elementary School  The DEP "grandfathered" the silo permit because the initial prep plant permit preceded the law. The new DEP order requires Goals to demolish work already done on the silo and to reclaim areas disturbed by construction. 

Coal River Mountain Watch is thankful for all the hard work that has gone into the effort to protect Marsh Fork Elementary School and the citizens of Coal River. We are thankful that Governor Manchin heard our voice and launched the investigation into this illegal permit. We are thankful for Ken Ward's extraordinary work to bring to light important public information. 

As momentous as it is, we cannot rest on the laurels of this accomplishment. Many important questions must be answered. How do illegal permits like this pass through the DEP in the first place? For example, the existing silo built at Goals Coal in 2003 is also outside the permit boundaries, making it also illegal. What will happen to it? What if the Ken Ward had not discovered the map discrepancies? Would our voices have still been heard? 

Coal River Mountain Watch invites you to join us in our fight for justice in West Virginia's coalfields. You can start by joining us for a rally Saturday, July 30 at the circle on the north side of the West Virginia Capitol Complex in Charleston. We hope to see you there! 

 

Related stories:

Massey Started Silo Without Permit! 

DEP Criticized over Massey Silo       

Goals Permit Area Map  

Massey's Latest Bully Tactic  

Coal River Grandfather Visits Governor

Two Arrested at Massey Headquarters

16 Arrested in Peaceful Protest at Goals Processing

 

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Mountain Justice Summer

2005

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Mountain Watch