“I was scared on the impoundment…”: A Statement from Ricki Draper

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013
posted by mlr

Ricki DraperSitting on a slurry impoundment is terrifying. We wore Tyvec suits, respirators, and rubber gloves to protect us from the 2.8 billion gallons  of toxic coal slurry which, according to the Sludge Safety project, can cause “intestinal lesions, neuropathy, kidney and liver failure, cancer, high blood pressure, brittle bones, miscarriages and birth defects.”

Today, as we confronted Alpha directly about the toxicity of coal slurry and the vulnerabilities of impoundments that sit above communities in West Virginia, our friends in Charleston delivered the message to Governor Tomblin personally. Alpha, formerly Massey Energy, has a long history of neglect and abuse of Appalachian communities. When the coal industry dies and Alpha leaves West Virginia, all of their slurry impoundments will stay, leaching into ground water and threatening communities below the dams.

I was scared on the impoundment, but I am more terrified of the coal industry’s continued disregard for human life and land. After taking all of the coal, Alpha will abandon Appalachia in order to find other resources and communities to extract.

Today we call on Governor Tomblin to place community health over his own desire for profits and limit the use of slurry impoundments, reclaim old impoundments adequately, ensure that dams are stable, and improve the regulation process.

2 Responses to ““I was scared on the impoundment…”: A Statement from Ricki Draper”

  1. x says:

    mad bravery!

  2. anonymous says:

    I will always support you and your organization. Wish you the best/

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