Marsh Fork School Gets A ‘Welcome Start’ From Its Polluting Neighbor

posted by Rainforest Action Network

Last June I joined hundreds of concerned citizens, including NASA scientist James Hansen, to rally at Marsh Fork Elementary School in Raleigh County, West Virginia.

The school is adjacent to a coal silo constructed by Massey Energy, and sits at the foot of the company’s mountain top pond that holds back hundreds of millions of gallons of toxic coal slurry.

Well, this week, Massey Energy pledged $1 million to help the school relocate. Here’s a response to that news from West Virginia’s Senator Robert Byrd:

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., today said he welcomed as a “good start” the announcement by Massey Energy that they are pledging $1 million toward the construction of a new $8.6 million Marsh Fork Elementary School in Raleigh County.

Byrd last October blasted Massey Energy officials for their refusal to provide assistance to efforts to replace the existing Marsh Fork Elementary School because of potential health and safety concerns.

“This is a welcome and good start by officials at Massey Energy in announcing their pledge of $1 million for the construction of a new $8.6 million Marsh Fork Elementary School,” said Byrd.

“As Massey Energy moves to acquire Cumberland Resources through a stock offering, and helps pay for mountain top mining music concerts, I would hope that they will continue to keep the welfare of the young students at Marsh Fork Elementary in their hearts and in their minds. These children are our future and it is my hope that all the necessary funds will be made available to construct a relocated Marsh Fork Elementary School soon,” Byrd added.

I agree with Senator Byrd, this is a welcome start.

Now that Massey have acknowledged that is inappropriate for children to have to live amongst mountaintop removal mine sites I hope that they will apply this thinking holistically and end their participation in this filthy practice once and for all.