(07/27/2005)

Photo courtesy of Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition

State regulators canceled a Massey Energy permit yesterday for a new coal silo near a Raleigh County school and ordered the company to demolish work already done on the structure's foundation.

The Charleston Gazette reported that Massey had appeared to fudge their maps, allowing the silo to be closer than a 300 foot limit.

"Because the agency based its June 30 permit decision on an inaccurate map certified by a company engineer, the permit has been rescinded," said the DEP.

Coal silos already loom over the Marsh Fork Elementary School, which has led Coal River Mountain Watch and local parents to protest the construction for safety and health reasons.

Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Jessica Greathouse says Massey was not able to generate an appropriate response to questions about changes to the maps, so the permit has been rescinded.

The school site has been the subject of protesters on both sides of the issue, including supporters of Massey Coal's operation that the construction causes no harm to school children.

Also hovering above the Marsh Fork school is a billion gallon sludge pond, which some parents claim is unsafe.


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