There have been many assumptions and accusations when it comes to the crisis happening in West Virginia about sludge safety and the risks the citizens are being exposed to. There are many factual statements as well as controversial matters regarding the entirety of this situation, where many facts can get lost in personal beliefs and accusations being made.
I am here to break it down for you and provide you with the necessary information of what the issue is, the current trials that are being settled and pursued as well as the various promises being made by nonprofits and the community as a whole.
The sludge safety project is based on the flawed, errored and misinterpretation of the methods and data of the water quality in Boone County by West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. The drinking water was to be said that it didn’t negatively affect coal mining and underground mines but is to believe that coal slurry is being injected into these areas.
Many independent studies by citizens shared that the coal slurry negatively impacted and contaminated the resident’s water. A lawsuit was then placed on a group of coal companies, blaming fuel facilities and plants for contaminating the underground water supply.
2. Current Trial:
Many doctors justified this lawsuit and unfortunately admitted that there had been many of their neighbors who drank these water and fell ill leading to their death. The current lawsuit has been settled for the coal slurry contamination.
A primary concern is the destruction of the historic site of 1921 battle for coal miners’ rights as heavy machinery is being used on Blair Mountain.
3. Future Promises:
The issue covered by a gag order is still being overseen by a panel of judges, limiting the access of North Carolina to residents from West Virginia. If the gag order isn’t lifted, it will be harder for the regulation to pass in other states and surrounding areas leading to toxic underground water for many other states.
Many people are concerned about protecting Blair Mountain and preserving the numerous historical sites placed in the vicinity. Nonprofits are educating the public on the environmental destruction regarding the strip mining of this particular mountain.
Special fundraisings are being held to improve the museum with various repairs to the roof and heating system as well as adding more showcases, frames, and pieces to the museum’s entire collection.
The biggest stretch would be converting the museum to solar power and making a garden greenhouse that will be open to the public and rest of the community. The goal is to try and preserve and save all of the historical pieces and places in this area while maintaining a healthy underground water system.
I agree that coal mining should be separated from the underground drinking water and that the historical sites should be preserved as much as possible, but it may be hard to have both. It’s possible to tackle one issue at a time rather than combining all of the dilemmas the citizens are worried about.
Check out the video below for more on sludge safety!