Cyber-Law firm litigating on behalf of anti-MTR activists getting SLAPP sued by Massey and its successor company

Law Firm

Short Bio:

Larry Hildes and Terry Lodge-both civil rights lawyers representing demonstrators generally and in the Coal Fields of WV. Fighting the coal companies.

My/our needs are:

Environ experts, research asistants, law students, lawyers and $$

My/our wishes are:

Rresearch on Fiasr A law, obecure legal theories and effects of MTR

Coal waste focused group in WV looking for researchers, water testing resources

Environmental Group

Short Bio:

The Sludge Safety Project is a collaborative effort of concerned and affected residents of West Virginia, Coal River Mountain Watch, and the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition.

Since 2004, the project has worked to improve the health and safety of residents living in the vicinity of coal waste storage sites. Through a combination of data collection, grassroots community organizing, reasearch, media events, and lobby work, we have made signifigant gains in protecting communities and bringing attention to the dangers of toxic coal sludge.

Together we have won a moratorium in the West Virgina State Legislature prohibiting the issuance of new permits for underground injection, gained emergency alert systems in communities near impoundments, and worked with communities to gain access to clean drinking water. We have brought together community members and scientists to test water across the southern coalfields and investigate the connections between coal slurry and contaminated water.

We are committed to continuing to fight for an end to the production of toxic coal sludge in West Virginia!

My/our needs are:

We have a constant need for certified water testing.  The primary parameters of concern are heavy metals, sulfates and sulfides, and organics testing where possible.

We have an urgent need for scientists willing to write formal critiques of science published by regulatory agencies and industry consultants on well water contamination.  In particular, we need a critique of this report by Triad Engineering:

http://www.dep.wv.gov/dmr/studies%20and%20investigations/Documents/Prent…

An area of particular need is research into the toxicology of chronic low-dose exposure to a spectrum of heavy metals.  Traditional dose-exposure relationships are very limited in cases of slurry contamination due to the wide range of exposure at fluctuating levels over long periods of time.  Health impacts in communities with contaminated water need much greater professional documentation.  Anecdotal evidence suggests that health impacts are greater than can easily be explained with our current understanding of dose-exposure.

Another area is in groundwater hydrology, particularly looking into the movement of contaminants from unlined impoundments into downstream alluvial aquifers.

My/our wishes are:

The Sludge Safety Project is always looking for the expertise and assistance of scientists, researchers and students who are willing to engage the issues surrounding coal sludge disposal and its impacts on human health and the environment.  One of the biggest obstacles we face is bad science from regulators or industry or simply no science at all on critical issues.  Work is needed in a wide range of disciplines including geochemistry, geohydrology, GIS analysis, epidemiology, toxicology, public health, and civil and environmental engineering.  Large knowledge  gaps provide a unique opportunity to conduct groundbreaking research that has immediate impacts in Appalachian communities.  The Sludge Safety Project facilitates participatory research by connecting researchers with communities.

Website:

Sludge Safety Project

Historian looking for Coalfield Community for Oral History of the 1950s

Scholar

Short Bio:

I grew up in Hancock County, West Virginia. I have been living in Washington County, Pennsylvania, for the past 12 years. I now teach history at Chatham University. My dissertation was largely based on oral history interviews I conducted with retired steel and pottery workers in my home county. When I put them all together, I realized that they did not have the same beliefs and values as did urban-industrial workers. Since getting my phd in 2008, I have spent the last four years revising my dissertation and bringing to the forefront the rural-industrial working-class culture I see in the historical record of my county. Specifically, workers have tended to prefer local organizations and local control over jobs and have been suspicious of distant, impersonal bureaucracies. They have also focused on “making do,” especially during the mid twentieth century. That meant growing much of their own food, building their own houses, and limiting their purchases from stores.

My/our needs are:

As I have become more involved in the fight against mountaintop removal, I have become more interested in the history of coalfield communities in southern West Virginia. Between 2012 and 2014, I intend to conduct oral history interviews that will help me understand the history of local communties that experienced job loss in the 1950s. Other historians have written about this on a regional scale, but I hope to reconstruct the history of one community (or county perhaps) struggling with mechanization and mine shutdowns. In order to do this project right, I will need to interview people who lived that period of the 1950s and can recall the impact of job loss on their family, friends, and neighbors. I think that some of the things I will learn about is how resilient people were in the face of economic collapse and how creative they were in solving various problems.

My/our wishes are:

Ideally, I would like to find a community organization that would be interested in teaming up with me to identify people who are interested in being interviewed. Not only would I like to find participants who still live in the community, but it would also be ideal to find people who left the community in the 1950s and would like to talk about their decision to leave.

Website:

Chatham University – Department of History

Graduate Student seeks organization to work with on research and community outreach

Graduate Student

Short Bio:

My name is Ben Marley. I am a graduate student studying historical geography and social movements at Syracuse University. I am looking to get involved with a movement organization in West Virginia.

My/our needs are:

I am a graduate student looking to study the history of social change in the coal fields of WV. I am specifically interested in the shift from underground coal mining to strip minings and montaintop removal and how this has change organizing strategies and organizating networks among peoples opposing coal mining. I want to know about how alliances have formed and changed over time among diverse population groups in Appalachia.

My/our wishes are:

I hope to do research in WV and assist the community in any way that I can.

Tennessee Student looking for activism opportunities and subject for undergrad thesis

Undergraduate Student

Short Bio:

I’m Jennifer Grant. I’m from Chattanooga and I live in Johnson City. I attend ETSU under the Midway Honors scholarship. My focus is in English and Appalachian Studies, and I have a passion for food, agriculture, sustainable energy, traditional music, and literature. I would like to be involved in Appalachian activism and continue my education in a way that supports that.

My/our needs are:

The most pressing need I have is to find a subject for my undergraduate thesis in Appalachian studies. I would love to be able to write about sustainable agriculture, food justice, or mountaintop removal. However, the scope of my research must be narrow, because my undergraduate thesis is only 35-50 pages.

My/our wishes are:

I would like to learn more about creating green energy, sustainable farming practices, and traditional folkways, particularly music.

Katuah Medics, providing medical support on and off the streets

Other Group/Organization

Short Bio:

The Katuah Medics are a radical medical organization based out of Asheville, NC. We provide medical support for direct actions, community events, and natural disasters. Our ranks are filled with folks with varied levels of training, but are all united by desire to support our community.

My/our needs are:

We currently are looking for medically trained folks to expand our group. If you have any level training, whether it’s a basic first aid training, wilderness first responder, or even a licensed doctors, we have a space for you. Your skills will be combined with either a basic action training or a bridge training to further give you the confidence to work within the radical community, as well as the geographical community in which we serve.

Along with looking for folks to volunteer with us, we have other monetary and material needs. Providing medical support as volunteers is taxing on our personal resources. Many of our expenditures include trainings, certifications, medical supplies, transportation (to community trainings and actions), as well as providing legal support to medics detained while serving their communities.

My/our wishes are:

Our wishes are to provide more comprehensive trainings to our communities. These trainings include basic first aid, action medicine, herbalism, and disaster preparation. Our goal is to provide an alternative to the definitive health care system that isn’t readily accesible to members of the community due to economic and social crisis.

We would also like to create a scholarship fund to for those wishing to become medically trained.

Website:

Katuah Medics Blog

The Mountaintop Removal Road Show

Organization

Short Bio:

I have been travelling and speaking to student, church and community groups about mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia as a volunteer since 2003. I am a retired engineer, living in Lexington KY. Available for speaking engagements at conferences, etc. www.mountainroadshow.com

My/our needs are:

I am always looking for speaking engagements – I travel from New England to Florida to the southeast region, but generally east of the Mississippi. I am also available as a resource – I have many good photos of mt top removal and coalfield problems, just email me at davecooper928@yahoo.com. I have a free DVD; also online I have a driving tour for folks that would like to see mt top removal sites first hand.

I also lead Alternative Spring Breaks (ASB) for college students or community groups, based out of Harlan KY. Low cost lodging is available in Harlan for student or church groups with meals and program included. ASB trips are available any time of year.

Website:

The Mountaintop Removal Road Show

Scholar-activist seeking a degree and interested in public interest environmentalism, grassroots leadership, and public policy. I am a leader of the University of Alabama Environmental Council.

Undergraduate Student

Short Bio:

I am Elizabeth Heeter, from Birmingham AL and a student at the University of Alabama. I want to be an environmental lawyer one day, working in communities that lack public resourcces, legislating against corporations who threaten puclic and environmental welfare, and empowering people to take ahold of their rights. I think my main goals in the near future are to engage in community-based volunteer work and build relationships with non-profits and other organizations who support the grassroots. Any direction or advice offered would be greatly appreciated!

My/our needs are:

I want to devolp skill in developing public policy and find out how ecologically-based laws can be implemented in a society. I want to research lawyers and law firms that do this in the context of grassroots activism.

Environmental clinic representing nonprofits with environmental issue litigation and policy advocacy

Other Group/Organization

Short Bio:

Duke University School of Law Environmental Law and Policy Clinic

My/our needs are:

Clients

My/our wishes are:

Energy, Water, Environmental Justice and Animal welfare

Food systems, energy systems and water rights

Website:

http://www.law.duke.edu/envlawpolicy

Environmental Campaigner slash VA lawyer with friends that are lawyers in WVA

Activist Group

Short Bio:

My name is Robert Gardner and I’m a campaigner for Greenpeace working to shut down coal plants. I’m also an attorney in VA (inactive) with lots of WVA friends that are lawyers. Generally, these folks are young and are looking for cases, though they generally aren’t very well off financially. I would love to help out as a point for GP or with some of my own legal skills or through my friends. I really dig this opportunity to help with the campaign (pardon the pun).

My/our needs are:

Certainty with time constraints. I travel a lot and have a lot on my own activist plate, but I really want to help out with your campaign.

Contact certainty: Would be awesome if like four folks aren’t contacting four different other people in Greenpeace. Juts makes it easier.

My/our wishes are:

Just to help.