Marsh Fork Elementary: Journey Up Coal River | A Community and Strip Mining

Publication Type:

Web Article


Aurora Lights (2010)






Primary documentation of the effects of strip-mining for coal on a West Virginia community.  Gas Drilling and Strip-Mining affect communities health.  This website is an outstanding example of the human aspect of sacrifices for energy and power production that may not be necessary.

Aurora Lights supports locally-based projects that strengthen the connections within and between human communities and their natural environment by promoting environmental and social action. See also: Aurora Lights Home.

“What we got going on here in Rock Creek is a little school in Sundial, W.Va., called Marsh Fork Elementary and it's being surrounded by a coal mining processing plant and a toxic waste impoundment and also a mountaintop removal site,” said Rock Creek resident Ed Wiley. He used to work at the processing plant and his granddaughter, Kayla, attended Marsh Fork Elementary.

The toxic waste impoundment and processing plant are all operated by the Goals Coal Co., a subsidiary of Massey Energy. The 1849-acre mountaintop removal mine that surrounds the school and dam is operated by two other Massey subsidiaries, Independence Coal and Alex Energy.

See: Code Black: Coal’s Assault on America’s Health Campaign | PSR (Physicians for Social Responsibility)