Front Porch Blog

Victory In Mingo County (residents succeed in getting a community waterline)

(thanks to the WV DEP)

Appalachian Voices volunteers and interns just sent personal letters to over 50 bottled water companies asking them to assist the people of Rawl, WV in their dire situation regarding clean drinking water.

For over nearly two decades, the coal companies have pumped coal sludge back into the abandoned shaft mines surrounding this and other communities. After a few years the poisonous material leached into their water supply, and now the very water that these people drink is poison , containing over 20 heavy metals.

There are reports of 8 year olds getting kidney stones, cancer rates are up, and these people drink, shower, and cook with poisonous water. After more than a decade of working and fighting and suffering and organizing, these people finally got the state to fund shipments of rationed potable water to their community.

There ration was…
…3 – 6 Gallons…
…per week…
…per family!

However, today there is Good News in Mingo County! as people working for their communities won yet another victory!

The WV DEP Abandoned Mine Land Fund (AMLF) will fund a new 94,000 gallon water tank to supply the people of Mingo County. The AMLF is supported by fees on each ton of coal produced by active coal mining operations.

Over 250 residents of Mingo County WV will be the beneficiaries of a new waterline project. This includes the communities of Lick Creek, Rawl, Merrimac, and Sprigg.

Construction is projected to begin in this Spring, but installation wont start till early summer.

The battle over water is not likely one that will end soon, as even prosperous mountain towns like Boone, NC are having difficulty keeping supply up to demand, and are looking at long term disaster if drastic action is not taken in the near future.Several Appalachian Voices just took a trip to Rawl, WV, and saw firsthand how these communities are being exploited and taken advantage of. We are still lucky not to have to fight – as they do every day – for clean drinking water.





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