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Rally set to protest mining endeavor - News - Mobile Adv

From: Doug K.
Sent on: Sunday, June 1, 2014 8:59 AM
FLORENCE — Information, music and a candlelight vigil will be the focus of a rally designed to educate the public about the possible environmental impact of the proposed surface mining of oil-bearing Hartselle sandstone in northwest Alabama.

Sponsored by Tennessee River Keeper and Alabama Rivers Alliance, the event is scheduled for 4-8 p.m. Thursday in Florence's Wilson Park.

Local activist Nancy Muse said the event will feature several speakers who will discuss their views on the impact of oil-sands mining in northwest Alabama.

Lawrence County-based MS Industries has purchased property in Colbert and Lawrence counties with the intent of extracting crude oil from Hartselle sandstone deposits that lie underground throughout a large portion of north Alabama.

Various environmental groups and individuals such as Muse oppose the company's plans because of concerns about the environmental impact of surface mining.

"The main focus should be on the preservation of our groundwater, which feeds our lakes and streams and provides clean drinking water for human beings and others animals as well," Muse said. "Another concern is the loss of biodiversity."

Scheduled to speak during the rally is Adam Johnston, coordinator of the Alabama Rivers Alliance, Alabama's statewide nonprofit water protection organization.

Mark Kolinski is the Alabama program manager for Wild South, an organization created in 2007 with the merger of the Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project, based in Ashville, N.C., and Wild South, a grass roots forest protection organization based in Moulton.

Three people with strong connections to one of the areas where the company has purchased property will also speak:

Summer McCreless and her family live on a farm near the MS Industries headquarters on Lawrence 236. The company has purchased more than 2,000 acres of land in Lawrence County near the Wolf Springs area.
Lawrence County resident Janice Barrett has been outspoken about her opposition to the company's plans.
Sheree Martin, an environmental activist and attorney, has a family farm that is adjacent to some of the property MS Industries has purchased.
The event will also feature several musical acts, including Russell Mefford and friends, featuring Donna Jean Godchaux MacKay, David MacKay, Bryan Ferris and Daniel Ledford, Max Russell and the Shakedown Kings, The Charlie Rose Trio with Bryan Ferris, Susan Shann and David Walton.

There will also be an information booth, a drum circle and candlelight vigil.

For more information, call[masked] or[masked]-2909.

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