Citizen’s Arrest Warrant
Defendant: Christopher L. Blanchard, President of Marfork Coal Company
Complaint: Since 1994, the Marfork Coal Company has committed over 100 documented permit violations. Violations include (but are not limited to) multiple counts of improper blasting procedure (e.g. failure to notify residents of right to request pre-blast survey, failure to properly monitor blasts, etc.), failure to control air pollution, failure to install and/or maintain drainage control systems, and conducting surface mining operations beyond permit limits. Marfork’s continued operations in such close proximity to both Marsh Fork Elementary and the Pettus Head Start Program are not only endangering, but also assaulting the children at these locations with coal dust and other particulates floating off of the mine sites owned by Marfork Coal.
Moreover, on February 5, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection issued a notice of violation to Marfork for failure of an upstream expansion of its Brushy Fork Impoundment to meet the engineering factor of safety of 1.5 required for coal dams. The Brushy Fork Impoundment contains 8.2 billion gallons of toxic coal waste; if it fails, Marfork estimates that 998 people will be killed. In spite of this violation and massive level of risk to human life, Marfork is continuing its operations on the Bee Tree Strip Mine, placing nearby communities in imminent danger.
As President of the Marfork Coal Company, you are responsible for the illegal practices of Marfork. Given the absence of any intervention from West Virginia or federal law enforcement, a citizen’s warrant has been issued for your, Christopher L. Blanchard’s, arrest. Citizens of West Virginia have found probable cause that you are in violation of the following sections of the West Virginia State Code:
§61-3E-10. Wanton endangerment involving destructive devices, explosive materials or incendiary devices; penalty: “Any person who wantonly performs any act with a destructive device, explosive material or incendiary device which creates substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be committed to the custody of the division of corrections for not less than two years nor more than ten years or fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or both.”
§61-2-7. Attempt to kill or injure by poison; penalty: “If any person administer, or attempt to administer, any poison or other destructive thing in food, drink, medicine or otherwise, or poison any spring, well, reservoir, conduit or pipe of water, with intent to kill or injure another person, he shall be guilty of a felony, and upon conviction, shall be confined in the penitentiary not less than three nor more than eighteen years.”
§61-2-9b. Penalties for malicious or unlawful assault or assault of a child near a school: “Any person who, under the provisions of section nine of this article, maliciously assaults a child sixteen years of age or under within one thousand feet of a school is guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction, shall be punished by confinement in the penitentiary not less than five nor more than fifteen years.”