Clean air for Madison and her neighbors
State officials granted the coal processing plant an amendment to its permit to allow its continued operation. The family got some relief when the company started hauling out its coal in another direction, but dust from the processing plant still settles on their home.
Hello, I’m William “Bopper” Minton and I live with my family on land that was my grandfather’s before he passed it on to my dad. We moved here when I was 12 years old. At that time the coal processing plant behind our home was torn down and we never expected it to re-open. However, about 9 years ago the plant did re-open and the coal company increased the size of the plant.
A coal processing plant is where a coal company separates the coal from the slate and rock and then crushes up the coal before they ship it off by train to be burned for electricity or shipped over seas.
My daughter Madison was born early in 2004. She started having respiratory problems when she was just six months old. Since she started having these problems her health has only gotten worse each year.
The coal dust from the processing plant that covers our house 7 days a week, 365 days a year, is making my child sick. She has developed severe allergy, sinus and asthma problems, and the coal dust from the plant and hundred-plus coal trucks that drive by every day is aggravating her condition.
Every morning Madison wakes up and her mother has to place a cold damp washcloth on her eyes because they are swollen and crusted shut. Then she is forced to take 8 different medications before even getting out of bed. And she will need to go through this routine again every evening. One side effect of all this medication is that it makes it impossible for her to get to sleep.
Another side effect of her medication is that she has begun to form neurological tics that make life for a small child very difficult. We’d like to take her off some of this medication but her doctors have told us that before we can reduce her medication we will need to stop the excessive dust from the processing plant and the trucks.
Because of the plumes of dust that cover our house and yard we can’t allow Madison to play out side or ride her bike as often as most children. It’s hard for a little child to understand why she can’t play outside in her own yard like she can when she goes to visit with her friends who don’t live in communities covered by dust and mud.
I want to make Madison’s community a safe and healthy place for everyone to live and raise their children and grandchildren. In order to do this we have to stop the pollution from the processing plant from covering up and poisoning our community.
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