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Mine Your Own Business: The Coal Industry and Government Oversight


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More than fifty percent of electricity in the United States is generated by coal-fired power plants. Hundreds of massive lagoons filled with liquid waste from coal processing are filling up throughout the Appalachian region and beyond. Some of these lagoons, known as slurry impoundments, are built on top of underground mines, many of them poorly mapped, giving inaccurate information about their ability to support billions of gallons of black sludge. Some charge that federal regulators have a pro-industry bias, subjecting many coalfield communities to great risk.

On this edition of Making Contact, we shed light on this issue through an investigative story on regulatory responses to the Martin County Coal slurry spill of October 2000.


Bill McCabe, Citizens Coal Council; Davitt McAteer, Former Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health, now with the Coal Impoundment Project at Wheeling Jesuit University; Monroe Cassady, Big Sandy Environmental Coalition; Tom Fitzgerald, Kentucky Resources Council; Vivian Stockman, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition; Joe Main, United Mine Workers of America.

For more information:

Citizens Coal Council

Kentucky Resources Council

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition

Big Sandy Environmental Coalition –Inez, KY

United Mine Workers of America –Fairfax, VA
Information on the case of Jack Spadaro:
Click here for the web site

Author: Radio Project

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