Marsh Fork Elementary, Massey Energy’s Shumate Coal Sludge Impoundment and Goals Coal Prep Plant
The Marsh Fork Elementary School in Raleigh County with the light green lawn and white buildings is in the foreground at the left. Just behind the school is a blue bend in the Marsh Fork of the Little Coal River. Across the river to the right is the coal silo–just 150 feet from the school. Though not readily visible, train tracks run beside the silo. Concerned parents worry that coal dust and the chemicals used in processing coal and loading it from the silo onto the train are drifting onto school grounds. Prove this yourself–walk barefoot through the playground and take a look at your toes.
Across the river and left are the blue buildings of the Goals Coal Processing Plant, a subsidiary of Massey Energy. To learn more about the dangerous chemicals used in coal prep plants, see the Why Worry section of this website. Above the prep plant, a road zigzags up the face of an earthen dam holding back billions of gallons of coal sludge in Massey’s leaking Shumate impoundment. A worker at this site, now alleges he is gravely ill from the chemicals used on site. He says portions of this dam were not constructed properly and Mine Safety and Health Administration records support his statements. Beyond the impoundment –that black lake of toxic goo–another Massey Energy subsidiary, Independence Coal, is starting an
1,849-acre strip mine. How crazy to have blasting at this strip mine above an impoundment held by a violation-prone earthen dam–just 400 yards from an elementary school!