Posts Tagged ‘West Virginia’

Be cool and keep fighting

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 - posted by thom
After the tumultuous midterm elections, not that much has changed and our job in Washington, D.C., remains much the same.

After the tumultuous midterm elections, not that much has changed and our job in Washington, D.C., remains much the same.

For the next couple of weeks, you’ll have a hard time turning on the TV or going online without seeing reactions to the midterm elections. Most pundits will analyze what happened, and some will try to tell you what it means.

Here’s what it really means: maybe not that much.

To put things in historical perspective, let’s take a moment to look back at some very recent elections and their outcomes.

2008: Democrats take the White House and a supermajority in both the House and Senate! They proceed to pass climate legislation, stop mountaintop removal coal mining, usher in a new age of clean energy take a few moderate steps toward reducing the amount of permits issued for mountaintop removal coal mining.

2010: Republican wave! The GOP takes the House by a wide margin and nearly takes the Senate. They proceed to remove EPA’s ability to regulate carbon pollution and then expedite all mountaintop removal permits create a fuss while federal agencies continue to take moderate steps towards limiting coal pollution.

2012: Democrats keep the White House, and improve their numbers in both the House and Senate! They proceed to make permanent changes to coal mining and coal ash regulations while stopping global warming in its tracks make no headway on coal mining regulations, allow mountaintop removal mines to be permitted, and take only moderate steps on coal ash regulation and carbon emissions.

We don’t know what the future holds, but considering what happened yesterday there are a few things that we can be pretty sure of moving forward.

The politics of Virginia and Tennessee are not much different today than they were yesterday. No major incumbent lost their race, and the election’s outcomes gives us no reason to believe federal office holders from either state will change their behavior going forward. Appalachian Voices, for one, is happy to continue to work with members from both states and both parties.

West Virginia and Kentucky are still in Big Coal’s stranglehold. But like coal itself, the industry’s power is finite. We can’t say how soon the politics of coal will change in Central Appalachia, but we will continue to work with our allies in those states to change the conversation. For now, members of the two states’ delegations will continue to vote the way they have for years.

After 30 years as an advocate for coal miners and the coal industry alike, Rep. Nick Rahall lost to his Republican challenger, Evan Jenkins, in the race for West Virginia’s 3rd district. Rahall was the senior Democratic member and had a firm grasp on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Clean Water Act. His replacement in that role will likely be someone who opposes mountaintop removal coal mining. For that, we can be all be happy.

North Carolina’s Senate election was a bit of a surprise. Though, aside from Democrat Kay Hagan being replaced by Thom Tillis, the rest of delegation is unchanged.

Appalachian Voices has worked hard to build relationships with members of Congress and their staffs in both the House and the Senate. But we have known for a long time that getting comprehensive legislation through Congress is not a good short-term goal.

The White House, on the other hand, is armed with the science and has the legal authority and moral obligation to take on mountaintop removal, coal ash pollution, climate change and other threats. President Obama was never going to be able to rely on Congress to act on those issues. So from that perspective, nothing has changed.

It’s okay to be excited about a candidate you like winning an election. It’s okay to be bummed when a candidate you like loses. But it’s not okay to get so caught up in it all that you forget the big picture.

As we see it, the job before us has not changed. Our responsibilities to Appalachia, and yours, are the same today as they were yesterday and will be tomorrow.

We will keep fighting for a better future for Appalachia, and push every decision-maker, regardless of their political leanings, to stand with us. We will fight to end to mountaintop removal and for a just economic transition away from fossil fuels. We will fight because no one else is going to do it for us, and we will need you there by our side.

As Companies Warn of More Layoffs, Lawmakers Look to Employment Training Programs

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - posted by Barbara Musumarra

By Brian Sewell

Two Appalachian coal companies warned nearly 1,500 West Virginia employees that layoffs are likely this fall, underscoring the dire need for other job opportunities in central Appalachia.

On July 31, Alpha Natural Resources issued a 60-day notice to 1,100 employees at 11 surface mines and associated operations that could be idled by mid-October. In early September, Patriot Coal put 360 employees on notice at a surface mining complex in Boone County.

Several elected leaders responded to the news by promising to combat the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, while others are considering different options. E&E News reported on Sept. 12 that representatives David McKinley (R-W.Va.), one of the most pro-coal members of Congress, and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) were working together to craft legislation that would pay laid-off coal workers to participate in workforce training.

In the past two years, the U.S. Department of Labor has granted WorkForce West Virginia $7.4 million in National Emergency Grant funds to train displaced miners. The program provides up to $5,000 to individuals for occupational skills training aimed at fostering long-term reemployment.

Health Research Disregarded in Mountaintop Removal Mine Permitting

Monday, October 13th, 2014 - posted by Barbara Musumarra

By Brian Sewell

In both West Virginia and Kentucky this year, federal courts have ruled against groups that believe scientific research into the impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining on health should be considered by the agencies in charge of issuing permits.

In August, a federal judge for the Southern District of West Virginia sided with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and ruled that the agency did not act “arbitrarily” when it issued a permit for a 725-acre mountaintop removal mine in Boone County, W.Va., without considering health impacts. A coalition of environmental groups, including Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and Coal River Mountain Watch, asserted that research the Corps called “ambiguous” in fact showed a strong link between mountaintop removal and health impacts, such as higher instances of birth defects, cancer and other diseases.

The judge claimed that too many of the studies environmental groups presented as evidence focused on health effects associated with coal in general and made no stated connection to mining discharges in streams below mountaintop removal sites.

The decision echoes a ruling six months ago in Kentucky in a case between the Corps and a coalition led by Earthjustice, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and Appalachian Mountain Advocates over the 756-acre Stacy Branch mine. In that case, the Corps argued it was only responsible for considering the effects of dumping mining debris in streams — not the environmental or health impacts of the entire mining operation. That responsibility, the Corps contends, belongs to state agencies in charge of issuing mountaintop removal permits.

Currently, there is no clear agency tasked with studying or addressing the connection between mountaintop removal and health. Meanwhile, a bill that would place a moratorium on new permits until a federal study into the health impacts of mountaintop removal is completed sits stagnant in Congress.

Employees of DEP-certified lab conspired to violate Clean Water Act

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 - posted by brian
An employee of Appalachian Laboratories Inc., a state-certified lab used by coal companies, plead guilty to conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act.

An employee of Appalachian Laboratories Inc., a state-certified lab used by coal companies, plead guilty to conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act. Photo from Flickr.

We learned some unsettling news from West Virginia yesterday afternoon. The Charleston Gazette reports that an employee of a state-certified company pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act after he faked compliant water quality samples for coal companies between 2008 and 2013.

John W. Shelton, who worked as a technician and then a field supervisor for Appalachian Labs Inc., a Beckley, W.Va., firm, admitted to diluting water samples taken from mine pollution discharge points with clean water, among other unlawful measures taken, to ensure pollution levels were in compliance with permitted limits. Prosecutors say Appalachian Labs conducts water sampling at more than 100 mine sites in West Virginia, but for now it’s unclear what mine sites or coal companies could be implicated in the case.

As Ken Ward Jr. points out in The Gazette, this crime is a serious cause for concern, since state and federal agencies rely heavily on self-reported data to determine if coal companies are obeying the law. But honestly, while we’re appalled, it is hard to be surprised by this latest discovery. We have some experience with misreporting of water monitoring data that has taken place in Central Appalachia in recent years.

The way this story is coming together suggests a frightening collusion between employees at a lab that maintained certification from DEP. We know from the plea agreement that Shelton did not act alone. Check out the section titled “The Conspiracy to Violate the Clean Water Act” that begins on page 4. But the truly damning language comes in the following section, which states the “objects of the conspiracy were to increase the profitability of Appalachian by avoiding certain costs associated with full compliance with the Clean Water Act … and to thus encourage and maintain for Appalachian the patronage of [its] customers.”

Shelton faces up to five years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. The investigation into Appalachian Labs, however, is ongoing and is being handled by U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, the FBI and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Following is a statement from Appalachian Voices’ Central Appalachian Campaign Coordinator Erin Savage:

The discovery that a lab employee in West Virginia knowingly altered sampling procedures to assure that monitoring reports submitted for coal companies would be in compliance with the Clean Water Act raises serious questions about the reliability of monitoring reports for the coal industry across Central Appalachia.

False reporting of water quality data from mines in Central Appalachia is not unheard of. In 2010, Appalachian Voices uncovered water monitoring reports that contained duplicated data for the three largest mountaintop removal companies in Kentucky. During the period they were submitting erroneous monitoring reports, these companies never reported a single pollution violation.

No criminal charges have been brought in Kentucky in relation to those cases. In light of the charges brought in West Virginia, however, we have to wonder how widespread these criminal practices are. This shocking discovery further highlights the extreme need for state agencies to seriously reevaluate their enforcement efforts and for the EPA to step in when the states do not properly enforce the law.

Updated Oct. 21: Under oath in federal court, Shelton told a judge that coal companies “put a lot of pressure” on labs to get good water data. Read more in The Charleston Gazette.

Compensation Remains Elusive After Elk River Chemical Spill

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 - posted by molly

By Kimber Ray

Prospects of a full cleanup are uncertain at the site of a chemical leak that contaminated the drinking water of 300,000 West Virginia residents last January. Freedom Industries in August submitted a proposal to the state bankruptcy court outlining its intention to abandon the site that housed the culpable chemical storage tank if cleanup costs exceed $850,000.

This proposal was rejected by Judge Ronald Pearson, who noted that the company has spent almost $2 million on lawyers and efforts to shield company documents from investigators. At a September hearing to address these concerns, Freedom stated that it would remove the reference on abandoning the site, and also that it may release budget documents regarding cleanup costs and estimates.

Pearson also closed a $3 million settlement between Freedom Industries and residents affected by the spill. Rather than dividing the money into negligible individual payments, the money will be used for water testing, health studies and other projects to benefit victims of the spill.

Fourteen businesses and individuals have also sued additional companies connected to the spill including West Virginia American Water and Eastman Chemical Company. The water utility distributed contaminated water the day of the spill, while the chemical producer omitted critical health information from its chemical safety warnings.

Injustices Follow Elk River Chemical Spill

Sunday, August 10th, 2014 - posted by Jack Rooney

By Kimber Ray

For many in West Virginia whose water was contaminated by Freedom Industries this past January, the $11,000 fine issued against the company by federal officials in July demonstrated the failure of state and federal officials to demand corporate accountability.

In a Charleston, W. Va., prison, inmates are reporting that they had to choose between dehydration and drinking the contaminated tap water. Although the jail initially reported that inmates were supplied eight bottles of water a day, later investigation revealed that inmates sometimes had as little as a single bottle of water each day.

At press time, no action has been taken against jail officials.

Also in July, evidence emerged that the spill may have caused a greater health impact than initially indicated. Research funded by the National Science Foundation found that MCHM — the primary chemical that contaminated the water of 300,000 West Virginians — is significantly more toxic to aquatic life than the manufacturer had reported. The implications for human health are still being evaluated.

Cleanup of the Freedom Industries site is underway, and the public had a deadline of Aug. 1 to file claims against the company.

Keeping West Virginia Wild

Sunday, August 10th, 2014 - posted by Jack Rooney

Lovers of outdoor recreation and stunning scenery can now permanently enjoy expanded public access to the popular Gauley River. The 665 acres in Gauley River National Recreation Area acquired by West Virginia Land Trust this spring includes a gorge once intended for development. According to Brent Bailey, executive director of the land trust, “The importance of this land to public recreation can’t be overstated.” Nearly 60,000 whitewater rafters visit the river each fall.

Camp Creek: Gateway to West Virginia Wonders

Sunday, August 10th, 2014 - posted by Amber Ellis

By Molly Moore

A shaded section of the Farley Ridge Road & Trail at Camp Creek State Park.

A shaded section of the Farley Ridge Road & Trail at Camp Creek State Park.

Just two miles away from busy Interstate 77, visitors to West Virginia’s Camp Creek State Park trade the hum of passing traffic for birdsong and the rushing chatter of waterfalls.

“As soon as you come through the mountains and to the park, you enter a very vast, remote part of the country here, just a beautiful, vast forest with lots of things to do,” says Park Superintendent Frank Ratcliffe.

Convenient access to the interstate makes the park a handy stopover for travelers, and the broad range of recreational options marks it as a destination in its own right. The park is open year-round, and visitors can hike, fish, hunt, splash in the creek or bring their horses and mountain bikes. Of the roughly 36 miles of trails, about six miles are for hiking only, while the others are also open to equestrian and bike use.

The 5,500-acre Camp Creek State Forest abuts the 500-acre state park, giving the park’s trail system more room to roam and providing access to public hunting areas. The park and forest also include two creeks, where anglers can find ample trout in winter and early spring, and might even catch enough trout in midsummer for a hearty dinner.

The camping facilities also reflect the park’s broad appeal. Accommodations range from a modern campground outfitted with wi-fi to rustic camping, a horse-friendly campground and a new backcountry site. The latter two are the only horse and backcountry camping areas in the West Virginia state park system.

Double C Campground, the creekside camping area shared by hooved explorers and their riders, provides access to 25 miles of horse trails and cements Camp Creek’s place as an equestrian jewel.

Similarly, Ratcliffe hopes to draw more mountain bikers to the park with a new backcountry campsite. The site is tucked near the center of the park’s trail system, three miles from the main office parking area along a new path, Almost Heaven Road and Trail, named for its scenic views of the Allegheny mountain range. From here, mountain bikers of all levels can devise their own routes.

For those who prefer a refreshing mountain stream, Campbell Waterfalls and Mash Fork Waterfalls are popular wading areas and are both a short jaunt along the Turkey Loop Road and Trail from the park’s two main campgrounds.

Mash Fork Magic

Hikers looking for a more secluded journey to Mash Fork Waterfalls can link to hiking-only footpaths from the multi-use paths marked “road and trail.” One invigorating foray combines Farley Ridge Road and Trail with the Mash Fork Trail for a 1.6 mile loop that’s more challenging than its mileage suggests.

From the main office parking area, hikers follow the Farley Ridge Road and Trail as it climbs uphill — sometimes steadily, sometimes abruptly. The trail’s shade eases the strain of elevation gain, and the surrounding forest sports an array of rainbow-hued mushrooms and seasonal wildflowers. Look for trillium and columbine in spring, admire rhododendron blossoms around the 4th of July, find bright red cardinal flowers along the creek in late summer, and keep an eye out for asters in fall.

After .6 miles on Farley Ridge, the trail meets the hiking-only Mash Fork Trail. The intersection evokes Robert Frost’s reference to “the path less traveled,” with the narrow dirt path to the left breaking off from the wide gravel one.

On this seemingly less-traveled path, the Mash Fork Trail descends a series of switchbacks for 1.1 miles, gradually becoming steeper until it reaches the waterfall. Those who continue on Farley Ridge Road and Trail will soon reach the namesake ridge, which the path follows for about two relatively level miles before intersecting Almost Heaven Road and Trail.

Hikers who trek to the falls will be greeted with the sight of Mash Fork Creek tumbling off a broad rock ledge. The falls form a captivating cascade when the water level is high and spill across the mossy stone in several smaller fountains when the stream is shallow. Below, a wide pool provides an opportunity to dip trail-weary feet.

Visitors can reach Mash Fork Waterfalls by an easily accessible route or a challenging hike. Photo courtesy

Visitors can reach Mash Fork Waterfalls by an easily accessible route or a challenging hike. Photo courtesy

From the waterfall, return to the parking area without stepping on asphalt by turning left on a short section of Turkey Loop Road and Trail and taking another left on a brief section of the horse bypass trail.

This Mash Fork loop offers a taste of the possibilities at Camp Creek State Park and Forest, but visitors needn’t stop at the parking area — there are many more miles to discover.

Surface Mine Near State Forest Meets Opposition

Sunday, August 10th, 2014 - posted by Amber Ellis

By Brian Sewell

A mountaintop removal permit in West Virginia is causing significant backlash because of its proximity to a cherished state forest and residential areas.

Located along the eastern boundary of Kanawha State Forest in Kanawha County and a few miles from downtown Charleston, the 414-acre KD Mine No. 2 received approval from regulators in May. But the Kanawha Forest Coalition, a group of residents opposing the mine, is pressuring the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to rescind the permit.

In early July, nearly 200 residents gathered to discuss ways to block the mine. The group started a petition to Gov. Tomblin, and also plans to appeal the permit before the West Virginia Surface Mining Board of Review in August.

As it stands, the permit allows Florida-based Keystone Industries to mine within 1,500 feet of some homes, which the coalition contends will lower property values, increase the risk of flooding and put forest visitors at risk from dust and flyrock from blasting. But DEP official Harold Ward told reporters that the permit would not have been approved if his agency was not confident in the proposed mining and reclamation processes. According to the DEP, mining company personnel will check at-risk areas before blasting to make sure no hikers are in danger — a measure opponents say is far from foolproof.

Mining has not yet begun, but DEP has already issued two violations to Keystone for not properly constructing ditches required before the trees on the site are clearcut. The agency also received a formal complaint from the Kanawha Forest Coalition and the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition about the violations.

Expecting Justice: The backward priorities of a billionaire coal baron

Thursday, August 7th, 2014 - posted by brian

If spending $30 million to see your favorite NFL team play in your backyard is possible, practical even, then so is paying your debts.

One of these things is not like the other, but they're all owned by Jim Justice. Premium Coal's Zeb Mountain (top) and Windrock Mountain mines in Tennessee, and the Greenbrier's new training complex. Photos from and Facebook.

One of these things is not like the other, but they’re all owned by Jim Justice. Premium Coal’s Zeb Mountain (top) and Windrock Mountain mines in Tennessee, and the Greenbrier’s new training complex. Photos from and Facebook.

On July 25, as opponents of mountaintop removal celebrated an order that halted three companies’ surface mining operations in Tennessee, New Orleans Saints fans flocked to the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., where the NFL football team began training camp at a brand new $30 million facility.

At the center of both stories is Jim Justice, a billionaire West Virginia native who in recent years cut his coal losses by investing heavily in resort properties like the Greenbrier.

The Sierra Club and Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment shared the news that the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement issued 39 cessation orders against National Coal, Premium Coal and S&H Mining, each owned by Justice, for failing to report water monitoring data and meet mine reclamation requirements.

In fact, coal mines owned by Justice in Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia have racked up more than 250 violations, with unpaid penalties of about $2 million.

“I guess I just screwed up,” Justice said to the Roanoke Times in July about his subsidiaries’ transgressions. “I mean, we’re not a public company … The majority of this is all paperwork, and I’m cleaning it up.”

Purchased Power

Justice is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.6 billion. Forbes magazine puts him at number 292 on a list of wealthiest Americans and estimates that his personal wealth has grown by $500 million in the last year.

In some circles, he is revered for rescuing West Virginia’s historic Greenbrier Resort from bankruptcy in 2009. And even as violations against Justice-owned operations pile up, West Virginia’s lone billionaire is helping his state through troubled times.

“Sure, some have raised questions about some of Justice’s companies’ practices, late payments, regulatory fines and the like,” a July editorial in the Charleston Daily Mail postured in guarded praise. “Yet, while many talk of diversifying the state’s economy in the face of market and regulatory setbacks for the coal industry, Jim Justice and company are doing something about it.”

Photo from the Justice to Justice campaign's Facebook page.

Photo from the Justice to Justice campaign’s Facebook page.

Some folks in Kentucky feel differently, and understandably so — nearly half of the 266 violations Justice faces resulted from problems at mines in that state’s eastern counties.

Along with violations for failing to pay fines or breaking promises after previous enforcement actions, the charges in Kentucky stem from companies failing to submit water monitoring reports and failing to meet reclamation requirements. The problem has gotten so bad that some states are considering bond forfeiture, a last resort that could push the costs of proper reclamation off on the communities Justice’s companies have already put in harm’s way.

It’s not the first time his companies’ poor regulatory records have hurt their ability to do business. Outstanding violations in Virginia led to a massive victory for opponents of mountaintop removal last year when the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy denied a permit for Justice’s A&G Coal Corp. to strip-mine Ison Rock Ridge in Wise County.

But the recent cessation order in Tennessee represents the largest action to date taken against Justice’s companies. Unlike all the other states where his operations face violations and fines, Tennessee’s mining regulatory program is handled by the federal government.

Before the cessation orders were issued, the federal Office of Surface Mining held public hearings in Anderson County, Tenn., to address Premium Coal’s failure to meet reclamation requirements at two mine sites. Premium Coal requested the orders be dropped because the crew they hired had planted trees upside down with the roots sticking up.

Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards formed the Justice to Justice campaign this year to raise awareness about the dismal regulatory records and outstanding debts of Justice-owned coal companies. Photo from

Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards formed the Justice to Justice campaign to raise awareness about the dismal regulatory records and outstanding debts of Justice-owned coal companies. Photo from

“You’d think a coal billionaire could hire firms that can plant a tree the right way around. Sadly, Premium Coal’s reasoning for not meeting permit requirements was simply that,” said Sierra Club Organizer Bonnie Swinford in a press release. “Justice and his firms have a legal responsibility to ensure adequate reclamation of strip-mined land in our state — and upside-down trees don’t cut it.”

Add it all up, and it’s no wonder the Southwest Virgnia-based Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards formed the Justice to Justice campaign this year to call on the mogul to use his power to diversify Appalachia’s economy and put an end to mountaintop removal. In early July, SAMS members marched outside the Greenbrier and the towns of White Sulphur Springs and Lewisburg, W.Va., holding signs with messages such as “You got rich, we got sick,” “Employ local people in reclamation,” and “Hey Jim Justice, be a good neighbor to ALL of Appalachia.”

According to the Justice to Justice website, many tourists and even local residents had no idea that the Greenbrier patriarch’s fortune had been built in part “on the backs of blasted mountains and abandoned communities.”

Courting the Saints

Sadly, media coverage of Justice’s latest major investment has obscured everything mentioned so far in this post. A USA Today story about the new facility built for the New Orleans Saints praised a genial, sports-loving Justice, calling him a “refreshingly grounded billionaire.” Justice was proud to share the amount he spent to see the Saints come to the Greenbrier.

“This is on me — I spent $30 million of my own money,” Justice told USA Today. “The Saints are paying for their rooms and their meals. Basically, that’s it. The Saints didn’t put money in this deal.”

The facility, which has variously been described as “posh,” “lavish,” and “state-of-the-art,” was built in about 100 days. You can watch the video at right from the Charleston Daily Mail’s YouTube account for a look inside.

“It’s unbelievable when you think about it,” Justice told reporters gathered in the locker room. “This is, gosh, I’m trying to think, a little over 90 days in the doing, and with a whole lot of earth-moving, it had to be done before that.”

Yes, it is unbelievable, and exceedingly hard to not just conclude that Justice sees himself as being above the law. If dropping $30 million to see your favorite NFL team play in your backyard is possible, practical even, then so is abiding by surface mining laws and properly reclaiming mines — trees planted root-side down and all.

Justice says the demands of his critics, who he calls “anti-mining activists,” are unrealistic. But considering the circumstances, a regional movement calling on his companies to clean up their mess, pay off their debts and stop poisoning water is not only realistic, it’s unavoidable. Justice practically created it. To do right by Appalachia, he should meet those demands and then some. And he could start by responding to the open letter and request for a meeting the Justice to Justice campaign sent him months ago.

Back at the Greenbrier, likely in a dining room every bit as lavish as the new sports complex, Saints’ Coach Sean Payton and Justice had dinner together the night before training camp started. At one point, according to USA Today, Payton told Justice, “You exceeded expectations.”

Given the same chance, someone from Central Appalachia expecting justice — whether an out-of-work miner, a contractor waiting to be paid, a fed up environmental regulator or a mother concerned about the poorly reclaimed mine looming over her community — might all say the opposite: “Not even close.”

Appalachian Voices, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment and Coal River Mountain Watch recently signed on to Justice to Justice campaign. Learn more here and by liking the campaign’s Facebook page.