Coal Tattoo

Coal slurry: Rawl Sales trial set for October

Vicki Smith over at The Associated Press passes on word this morning that trial in the big coal slurry trial against Massey Energy’s Rawl Sales and Processing has been rescheduled to start Oct. 20.

Recall that Mingo Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury had postponed the trial (which had been set for mid-May) after using an assembly line approach to try to force residents into settling their claims. Of course, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection recently outlined major flaws in its own regulation of coal-slurry injection, and issued a temporary moratorium on new permits.

Here’s Vicki’s report on the trial being rescheduled:

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — After being delayed by southern West Virginia flooding, a pollution lawsuit against a Massey Energy subsidiary is now set for trial Oct. 20.
Hundreds of current and former residents of several Mingo County towns are suing Rawl Sales & Processing for injecting coal slurry into old underground mines between 1978 and 1987.
They say slurry seeped into the aquifer, poisoning wells and causing health problems.
Virginia-based Massey has denied the allegations and said the disposal was legal.
West Virginia regulators allowed underground injection for decades but said last month they can’t answer many questions about safety and will stop permitting new sites.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Kevin Thompson says it’s unclear how that might affect the case.