EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSFamily Alleges Mining Is Too Close To Twilight Graves
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Bob Aaron
Videographer: Bob Aaron
Web Producer: Bob Aaron
Also Contributing: Bethany Simmons
Reported: Sep. 10, 2013 9:57 AM EDT
Updated: Sep. 10, 2013 2:00 PM EDT
Twilight , Boone County , West Virginia
Alpha Natural Resources disputes claims that its mining work is illegally close to a family cemetery located in the middle of a huge surface mine in Boone County. The Department of Environmental Protection agrees with the company's position.
Relatives of the longtime deceased people in the Jarrell family cemetery in Twilight decorated graves there Monday and took Eyewitness News along. They have alleged problems getting access to the graveyard, damage to headstones from blasting and that mining is 30 to 40 feet inside the buffer required by state law.
It did take 50 minutes to clear the security gate although family members had given the company the required 10 days notice.
DEP officials said, however, that the excavation work done within 100 feet of the cemetery was done only to build a temporary access road to the graves and that no mining was done in that area.
Nicholas Johnson, a lawyer for the company, said Alpha has bent over "backwards" to follow the agreement with the family and fenced off the site although it was not required.
Danny Cook's relatives are buried at the Jarrell cemetery. He said he hopes to work things out with the company, but expects he will have to take the case to Boone County Circuit Court.
Alpha said it has headstone photographs that date back years and that they don't show change or anything that could be linked to blasting.
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