Editorial: Beheading mountains
The Gainesville Sun, January 25, 2008

"Advocates of 'clean coal' technology, including Capitol Hill lawmakers
and several presidential candidates, should take note of a record fine
imposed last week against the nation's fourth-largest coal producer.

Massey Energy Co. agreed to pay a $20 million penalty to settle a
lawsuit filed in May by the Environmental Protection Agency. As part of
the deal, the company also will spend $10 million on cleanup efforts and
pollution-control measures.

The EPA charged that the company violated its water pollution permits in
Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia more than 4,500 times over a
seven-year period.

EPA investigators said the company spilled up to 10 times the allowable
limits of heavy metals, acid mine drainage and sediment into streams in
the three states.

Environmentalists and residents of coal-mining communities have long
complained about the devastation caused by mountaintop removal, the
method of strip-mining employed by Massey and many other coal companies
in the region.

The drive for cleaner air and greater energy independence shouldn't come
at the expense of America's rivers and streams."

Dr. Ann C. Wilkie                          Tel: (352)392-8699
Soil and Water Science Department          Fax: (352)392-7008
University of Florida-IFAS
P.O. Box 110960                         E-mail: [log in to unmask]
Gainesville, FL 32611-0960
Campus location: Environmental Microbiology Laboratory (Bldg. 246).
BioEnergy and Sustainable Technology Society