Toxic frack waste may be dumped into MTR sites

Dear Editor

On Sept.17, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, held a public hearing in Charleston regarding a proposed new rule for coal mining. Among other environmental regulations, the rule calls for restoration of the mined site’s original form. Since no mountain can be restored once its supporting rock is destroyed, this rule just might end mountaintop removal (MTR), a brutal, job-eliminating, form of coal extraction.

While MTR is decimating the long-term economic assets of this state; abundant clean water, biologic diversity and natural beauty, these sites pose an additional threat. Barren, poorly guarded MTR landscapes are ideal for disposal of the 5-million gallons of highly radioactive, chemical-laden, horizontal hydrofracturing waste generated by each gas well.

With no dying vegetation to indicate contamination, this dumping goes undetected unless the toxins are discovered in streams. Dissolved solids, far too high for coal byproducts, but characteristic of frack waste, have already been recorded in waters polluted by runoff from MTR sites. No one has yet tested for the other frack waste markers; radium 226 and 228, bromide or the highly cancer-causing 4-NQO.

At the public hearing, coal workers protested that this rule will destroy their jobs. What wasn’t mentioned, except by WV Mountrain Party officer Tom Rhule, is that, besides mechanization—as in MTR, one reason coal miners are losing their jobs is that gas is cheaper to produce due to its exemption from all federal environmental regulations. Gas is getting a free ride. And, as fracking is exempt from the Superfund law as well, tax payers will pay the enormous aquifer restoration bill it is accruing.

Legislation initiated by former Halliburton CEO, Dick Cheney, called the Energy Policy Act of 2005, has been adopted by the West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). Now deferring to the DEP, the WV Departments of Health and of Transportation are monitoring neither the spills nor the transport of this extremely hazardous waste while the US EPA stands back, afraid of defunding by our industry-controlled Congress.

Until and unless there is public outcry, these frack waste tankers will travel WV roads with no warning markings and dump wherever they choose.


Elise Keaton

Charleston, W.Va.

Pope is just another human being

Dear Editor,

By the time you read this, the Pope will have returned to Rome. For those who care about and read the Bible, I have a few questions and thoughts about the titles of Pope Francis and the reverential treatment given to him. I was amazed, but not suprised by it.

I have read in the Scriptures that we were not to refer to anyone as “Holy” or “Reverend” — that those are God’s titles only. Yet, nearly every day you hear it on television or read it in the newspaper — “The Holy Father” and “Reverend so-and-so.” I heard it so much recently that I had to turn my television off.

To me, the Pope is another human being. Jesus Christ is the only head of His body. The Bible that I read says differently than the Pope’s.

Pope Francis “may” very well be a humble and kind man, but he’s just that, a man. The denomination to which he belongs bears little resemblance to the church Jesus represents. Jesus Christ died a horrible death for me and you, so He alone deserves mine and your allegiance. He did not die for a religion or denomination. He died to save us. God gave us His word, humans gave us religion.

God told us that He is not a respector of persons, but, wow, we sure seem to be. When I am asked, “What church do you belong to?” I say, “I belong to Jesus.”

Most people need to label you and aren’t satisfied with that answer. My eyes have been opened, and I’ve been set free from mankind’s traditions and doctrines.

That’s what a relationship with God, reading His word, praying for wisdom and obeying Him will do for you. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and it will set you free.”

We were warned to beware of deception. To prevent that, we must know what God said. Our country is ripe for deception.

I’ll end with this thought to ponder, we rolled out the red carpet for the Pope, the leader of China and Russia’s president. A few months ago, when Israel’s leader came to speak to Congresss, nothing! Just doesn’t seem right or fair.

Since I’m not a prophetess, I can’t say what that means. In connection with end-time events, I’m sure it has significance. So, watch and pray.


Sharon L. Hill

Chapmanville, W.Va.

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