Coal Tattoo

Stop slurry injection?

white_randy.jpgCoalfield residents will be at the state Capitol later this morning, when Sen. Randy White, D-Webster, introduces legislation to ban underground injection of coal slurry.

Members of the Sludge Safety Project, with help  from the West Virginia Environmental Council and other groups, convinced lawmakers two years ago to order a Department of Environmental Protection study of the contents, health effects and water pollution impacts of coal-waste slurry that is pumped underground.

secretary-randy-huffman-portrait_small.jpgBut as we learned a few weeks ago, DEP Secretary Randy Huffman hasn’t been able to get his agency to complete the study. DEP officials don’t know if slurry injection is contaminating underground water supplies that Southern West Virginia residents rely on for their drinking water. Associated Press correspondent Vicki Smith reported on this matter in a lengthy story that we’ve still got posted on the Gazette’s Mining the Mountains page. And the AP’s Tom Breen has an update here, including some comments from citizens who attended the Environmental Council’s annual E-Day at the Legislature.