Coal Tattoo

Brushy Fork protest: Activists occupy Massey offices

Photo by Vivian Stockman

Activists from Climate Ground Zero said this morning that they have “occupied”  the offices of Massey Energy subsidiary Marfork Coal Co.  to protest violations at the company’s huge Brushy Fork slurry impoundment.

This comes after the WVDEP issued a safety violation directed at the impoundment, following a warning notice issued to the state by the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. (See previous posts on that here and here).

According to the news release describing the action by three Climate Ground Zero activists:

The protestors plan to present a citizen’s arrest warrant and list of violations on the Marfork processing plant, Bee Tree Surface Mine and Brushy Fork sludge impoundment to company president Christopher Blanchard and Massey CEO Don Blankenship.


Map from Climate Ground Zero Web site.

Protesters are concerned about the impact Massey’s blasting at the Bee Tree Mine could have on the stability of the impoundment (shown above). Activists Mike Roselle, Joseph Hamsher, and Tom Smyth said they don’t plan to leave the Marfork offices until Massey agrees to cease the blasting. Roselle added:

I won’t stop breaking the law until they do.