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Mountaintop Removal Site in Pickering Knob, West Virginia

Pickering Knob, WV

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Residents have discovered that they are not “most Americans.” – Ralph Preece, resident of Holden, WV

Water is a resource most Americans take for granted. However, due to the pollution from mountain top removal in West Virginia, residents of the state have discovered that they are not “most Americans.”

A warm shower in the morning or a hot bath to relax after a long day are luxuries that several residents of Riffe Branch and Duncan Fork, West Virginia were not allotted in 2000 and 2001. Some residents say that due to Massey Energy’s Delbarton Mining operation, the local water taps ran dry. In an attempt to pacify the water loss, Massey Mining provided and filled water tanks for residents. In almost all cases, the water tanks were occasionally empty and inconveniently located outside of victims’ homes.

Riffe Branch and Duncan Fork are not the only two communities forced to fight mountain top removal for water. In Holden, West Virginia there is an abundance of water, but daily dehydration in Holden is not cured with a cold refreshing glass of tap water. The water in Holden is not for drinking. Due to acid mine drainage, the water in Holden is orange.

“At least one well has gone dry. Others just have bad water. One neighbor has water that smells terrible,” said longtime Holden resident, Ralph Preece. “Another family was sick for a year. Once they started drinking bottled water, they got better.”

Many residents of the above communities have exhausted their options for dismantling the destructive mining operations. Help is needed to put an end to mountain top removal.

“I know they are going to mine, and we probably aren’t going to stop that. The powers that be are going to let them. But they should be held responsible,” said Preece.

Click here to learn more about Pickering Knob, WV and the communities that live nearby.

Summary contributed by Angie Delynn Ryan courtesy of Appalachian Voices.

Help the People in this Community Stop the Destruction


HELP SPREAD THE WORD — Join thousands who are standing up against the destruction of Appalachian mountains and communities and who are helping to spread awareness of the other inconvenient truth about coal: mountaintop removal.
THEY’RE BLOWING UP OUR MOUNTAINS AND THERE OUGHT TO BE A LAW! Ask your representative to support the Clean Water Protection Act – a bill that would curtail mountaintop removal and protect clean water for millions of Americans.
TELL YOUR ELECTRICITY PROVIDER — “NOT IN MY NAME!” — Click on this link, submit your zip code and choose “Take Action” where you can print out a letter – tailored to your own electricity provider – asking them not to do business with companies engaged in mountaintop removal strip mining.
heart DONATE WHERE IT’S NEEDED MOST — The most immediate way to help the people fighting to save their homes and mountains near Pickering Knob is to support Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition. OVEC is dedicated to maintaining a diverse grassroots organization for the improvement and preservation of the environment through education, grassroots organizing and coalition building, leadership development and media outreach. Click here to donate to OVEC.

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  1. christin Says:

    I am embarrassed to say that I take for granted my hot water and also my access to SAFE TAP WATER! I will take this into account and make changes with my home and my friends.

  2. Kathy Johnston Says:

    Please earnestly support S696, HR1310, & HR2169.
    Thank you.

  3. Debrah Coombs Says:

    I am committed to doing what I can to help stop MTR. I will try my best to keep up with what is going on in your community. God bless you all.

Appalachian Voices  •  Coal River Mountain Watch  •   Heartwood  •  Keeper of the MountainsKentuckians for the Commonwealth 

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition  •   Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowermentSierra Club Environmental Justice

Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards  •   SouthWings  •  Stay Project  •   West Virginia Highlands Conservancy

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