Though the noise had been stopped when police visited the site, security resumed the noise-blasting shortly after police left. The airhorns are positioned several feet underneath the sitters’ platforms on a nearby tree.
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to report that the Marfork Coal Company has been in violation of the West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health Safety & Training noise protocol for several days. Since Thursday, January 21, security has been blasting four airhorns for prolonged periods of time – hours every day – on the Bee Tree Strip Mine. Though I do not have an exact measurement of the volume of the noise, it was significantly greater than the 90-decibel threshold for permissible noise exposure that is articulated on page four of Chapter 3 of the Coal Mine Health Inspection Procedures Handbook. Video of the noise can be seen at the following website: http://climategroundzero.net/2010/01/callmasseyonjan25/
The noise was briefly stopped this afternoon when a victim of the sound exposure contacted the police. After the police left the scene, security began blaring the airhorns again. Though the noise-blasting is directed at tree-sitters on the Bee Tree Strip Mine, it is also affecting all Marfork employees on or near the site. These employees are being intentionally subjected to unreasonably loud and sustained noises. The Coal Mine Health Inspection Procedures Handbook outlines the dangers that miners already face as a result of noise exposure: “The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has determined that approximately 13.4% of miners will suffer material hearing impairment during their working lifetime unless preventive measures are taken to reduce overexposures.” Marfork’s decision to subject its workers to this additional noise demonstrates a gross disregard for the health and safety of its own employees, in addition to that of the tree-sitters. Further, this noise-making could be considered felony wanton endangerment under Section 61-3E-10 of the West Virginia State Code. I strongly urge you to launch an immediate investigation into Marfork’s noise practices and hold those who made the decision to sanction the noise-blasting legally responsible.