The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

March 11, 2013

Training program to offer surface mining water safety info

By C.V. Moore
Register-Herald Reporter

— The Coalfield Environmental Health Project will offer training to inform citizens how they can protect their water from the impact of surface mining.

“If you want to better understand the process of enforcing surface mining laws or have specific concerns related to surface mining impacts on your property, this training is for you,” say organizers.

Rob Goodwin of Coal River Mountain Watch, who watchdogs and advocates for citizens who are impacted by surface mining, will conduct the training Monday at 6 p.m. at the Southern Appalachian Labor School (SALS) Community Center in Beards Fork, located at 1862 Beards Fork Road.

The focus will be on drinking water, streams, mine runoff and “best practices for citizen enforcement of existing laws” that aim to protect water quality and private property.

The training is part of a series of forums and workshops in Fayette County this year aimed at addressing the impacts of coal mining — especially surface mining — on human health, water quality, and community.

The Coalfield Environmental Health Project has three components: five community forums on surface mining and its impacts on economy, environment and health; three training for citizens; and equipping a group of interested people with the knowledge and skills they need to be a resources to the rest of the area.

The next forum will be held on April 8 in Fayetteville, where Dr. Michael Hendryx of West Virginia University’s School of Public Health will discuss Surface Mining and Health.

All the Coalfield Environmental Health Project events are free and open to the public.

For more information about the project, sponsored by SALS and the Plateau Action Network, contact Andrew Munn, project coordinator, at 304-924-1506 or