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Citizen Pleas for Help to Protect Home, History
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by Gertrude Slate, Gerrardstown, WV | 2011

Berkeley County strip mine shows that WV is still the land that is "Open for Busniness"; any kind and any where!

As a member of CARE (Citizens Alliance for Responsible Environment) I feel that our local legislators are not listening to the people once again. We do not want the Limited Liability Company, North Mountain Shale LLC, taking down North Mountain in our residential historic village. Once North Mountain is gone, how do you reclaim or rebuild it? It won’t happen.

Going on four years, citizens have opposed this industrial strip mining operation. The DEP recently approved the mining and NPDES permits.

Citizens in Gerrardstown, WV, are not alone in trying to fight for our beautiful mountains. West Virginia is being defoliated; mountaintops removed; and water polluted. The cost to our health and sense of well-being is huge. The laws do not protect this from happening. How convenient!

When citizens have approached different members of the legislature and the local County Commission, we have repeatedly been told that if you don’t have zoning there is nothing they can do.

The Department of Environmental Protection is not totally at fault. The poorly constructed laws governing the environment (loop holes so big you could fit a train through) in West Virginia are to blame. Who put these laws in effect? Our legislators. The laws do not protect the people or the land. It is once again “Open for Business” at whatever cost to the people.

All the Public Hearings held by the DEP were just lip service. All the educated professionals were not given the time of day, no matter how compelling.

Gerrardstown used to be a haven for tourists who visited here to admire our unique and irreplaceable history and beauty of the mountain. Was that not a profitable business? Or did that take a backseat to a bigger fish, mining. If the landscape and water are ruined will North Mountain Shale LLC pay for it? Their corporation is Limited Liability. It will be on the backs of the taxpaying public. Not to be forgotten — the owner and manager do not even live in WV!

Would someone please help us in preserving our history and our Mountains? This destruction doesn’t need to happen. Bad things happen to good people if they let it. Hopefully, we are not finished

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