Friday, December 21, 2012

The Miracle at Marsh Fork Elementary School

In the wake of the recent tragedy in CT, here's an uplifting elementary school story which has been almost ten years in the making.

I have followed the story of and written about Ed Wiley and his fight to keep his granddaughter and the students of Marsh Fork Elementary (Sundial, West Virginia) out of harm's way.  (The school is situated 400 yards downstream from a 2.8 billion gallon coal waste dam.)  When state assistance was not provided, Mr. Wiley led concerned citizens on a 455-mile walk to Washington D.C. in 2008, got a meeting with then-Senator Byrd, and put the children of Marsh Fork on the map.  

In January 2013, Marsh Fork Elementary School will open its doors to a new, relocated, state-of-the art facility, due to Mr. Wiley's efforts and the efforts of those mentioned in the below article.

Grandpa v. Big Coal
The Huffington Post
by Perry Binder 

This is not an environmental issue. This is about a little human being. -- Ed Wiley (Grandpa) speaking to West Virginia then-Governor Manchin

I came across a story from July 2005 about West Virginia's Marsh Fork Elementary School, which is situated 400 yards below a 2.8 billion gallon coal waste dam. 400 yards? 2.8 billion gallons. With the kids breathing coal dust and chemicals from the coal silo which sits 150 feet away. The only reason this is making any news is that the grandfather of one of the elementary school kids sat on the West Virginia Capitol steps and refused to leave until the governor addressed these rather serious concerns. The guy was just a little curious why the Department of Environmental Protection approved a permit for an additional coal silo adjacent to the school. He was just wondering why in a school of 200 students, three kids and four teachers had died of cancer. And with 240 significant safety violations since 1991, why nothing was being done, like building another school. Away from the madness. 2.8 billion gallons. 2.8 billion. School's not out. School's gone!

In 2008, Mr. Wiley went on a 455-mile hike to Washington, D.C. and actually got a meeting with United States Senator Robert Byrd. He started a web site, Pennies of Promise to raise money for a new school. ... Truth be told, while grandpa was getting publicity for his cause, the money raised was a mere fraction of the $8,000,000 needed to fund a new school. But Mr. Wiley persisted, as attested to by his many supporters.

Continue reading here

Peaceful holidays.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.