Between 11:30 a.m. and 1 a.m. of the night of March 6-7, 10 completely unmarked dump trucks, with no license plates, rumbled past Jesse Johnson’s home in Kanawah County. Johnson videotaped these trucks unloading into Blue Creek, a tributary meeting the Elk River just two miles upstream from a Charleston Area drinking water intake.
Such illicit pollution is now condoned by the WV Dept. of Environmental Protection.The DEP plans to allow millions of gallons of highly toxic, radioactive, fracking and coal waste into a new sinkhole in Kearneysville, calling it “subsidence control”. This hole in Jefferson County will likely be as unguarded as Blue Creek, moreover, and as susceptible to midnight dumping.
Problem solved? Not according to local Conservation Officer, Dan Lutz. He says the Kearneysville sinkhole is directly connected to an underground lake at least two miles long and from which Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC obtain drinking water.
If WV permits contamination of water sources used by cities and other states, the taxpayers will be held liable. Can we pay for, or even do, the enormous clean-up? If we are to believe our governor, West Virginia is in great financial difficulty. Though we have water issues now, Justice claims, WV needs MORE unrestrained toxic dumping for “jobs”. --Jobs that rarely materialize for West Virginians.
The DEP will hold a hearing on the waste injection permit in May. But judging from previous hearings, no matter how many expert witnesses, business leaders or concerned citizens attend and speak against it, the permit will be rubber-stamped as if no one had been there.
West Virginia is clearly suffering from something termed “industry capture”. The sinkhole poisoning is just another example of this takeover that regularly costs us prosperity and health.
The situation is not hopeless, however. Your input can reverse it. Call your legislators, write to the local media, tell your neighbors. And, remembering that universities, politicians and the media often get huge sums of money from trillion dollar energy companies, carefully use the internet. Widespread, accurate knowledge wins every time, but these behemoths often distort any information threatening their bottom line.