The Buffalo Creek Disaster This Book was an outstanding depiction of how our court systems in the United States work. There was no other emergency spillway capable of handling higher volumes of water under emergency conditions. The coal refuse dams today, many of which date back before the Buffalo Creek disaster, measure 20,000 acre-feet. Pittson Coal set to work building a larger dam, Dam No. Negligent strip mining and heavy rain produced a raging flood. See Part III, infra. company who operated the Buffalo Creek site. The estimated total financial cost of the flood was ~$80 MM, however this does not adequately represent the long term devastation to the community and residents in the aftermath of the incident. Schedule a workshop at your location to train your team on how to lead, facilitate, and participate in a root cause analysis investigation. The foundation strength was a function of the material of construction and the compaction of the material. 2 and obliterated the small town of Saunders, West Virginia, located just south of the mining site. – The Green Criminology Monthly #13 – September 2013, Special Critical Criminology Issue With New Green Crim Article. A West Virginia grand jury failed to criminally indict Pittson Coal. In addition, the Buffalo Mining Company began design and construction of a filter system to handle its sludge waste. He went into his own law firm, calling it Stern & Huge. The volume of water is a function of both the water added and the water removed. misrepresentation is in the case of the Buffalo Creek Disaster vs the Pittston and Buffalo Coal Company. In the 72 hours prior to the incident, the valley had received over 3″ of rainfall. Federal mining regulations and inspections were strengthened, as were the penalties for safety violations. The analysis can continue by asking Why questions and moving to the right of either of the cause-and-effect relationships above. The Buffalo Creek Disaster: How the Survivors of One of the Worst Disasters in Coal-Mining History Brought Suit Against the Coal Company- And Won [Stern, Gerald M.] on Amazon.com. After the analysis is complete, the best solutions are selected based on the impacts to the organization’s goals. On February 26, 1972 at approximately 8:00 A.M., Coal Slurry Impoundment #3 at the Buffalo Creek coal mine in Logan County, West Virginia gave way sending millions of gallons of water and millions of cubic yards of coal slurry down the Buffalo Creek. Gerald Stern, from the time he had accepted the case, in my opinion, was out for establishing justice. Disaster at Buffalo Creek. However, West Virginia authorities did not shut down the mining operation. Canadian Mining Scandals; Coal Mining; Mining Safety and Health. The strength of Dam #3 was a function of the material of construction and the foundation. The dam was constructed of coal refuse, a relatively low strength material, not typically used for earthen dam construction, but readily available at the location. Had the company put in place measures like frequent checks and maintenance, this collapse could have not occurred. This is an example of how the Cause Mapping process can be applied to a specific incident. Step 1. 3 stood fifty feet high and was over four hundred fifty feet across. The steps of Cause Mapping are the same, but the level of detail is different. The overall theme in the book, The Buffalo Creek Disaster, is one of complexity. A year later Buffalo Mining constructed a second dam, Dam No. Worse than a tornado or an earthquake because it was completely and utterly avoidable; an example of corporate greed that needed to be atoned for. // Buffalo Creek Disaster Book Review “Oyez, oyez, oyez” The law comes to life like never before in The Buffalo Creek Disaster written by Gerald M. Stern. The Buffalo Creek Disaster: How the survivors of one of the worst disasters in coal-mining history brought suit against the coal company--and won: Stern, Gerald M.: 9780307388490: Books - Amazon.ca From a personal point of view, I would say that the outcome of the Buffalo Creek Disaster case was a bit fair. This was a historical practice in the coal mining industry in order to reduce the costs of hauling away the unusable byproduct. On February 26, 1972, a huge earthen dam constructed by a coal company without any engineering input collapsed. Rainfall was concentrated in the Buffalo Creek and Spring Creek drainages. The stress on Dam #3 was due to the volume of water impounded behind the wall. It is evident that the coal mining company was responsible for the Buffalo Creek disaster. Governor Arch A. Moore, Jr., on March 1, 1972, appointed an ad hoc commission to investigate the Buffalo Creek disaster, to try to find the causes and origins, to determine if conditions existed elsewhere in the state for a similar disaster, and to recommend legislative actions to prevent such disasters … // You will want to make sure that you The three steps are 1) Define the problem, 2) Conduct the analysis and 3) Identify the best solutions. Solutions can be documented directly on the Cause Map. The resulting flood killed 125 people and caused over $50 million in damage. Each step will be discussed below. Once the Cause Map is built to a sufficient level of detail with supporting evidence, it can be used to develop solutions. The Cause Map starts by writing down the goals that were affected as defined in problem outline. Where did it happen? The Buffalo Creek Disaster: How the Survivors of One of the Worst Disasters in Coal-Mining History Brought Suit Against the Coal Company- And Won (4) On February 26, 1972, a dam on Buffalo Creek owned by Buffalo Mining Company gave way and creek waters destroyed plaintiff's house and property and caused plaintiff great pain of body and mind. The commission reports noted that West Virginia’s lax regulations, inspection policies and penalties for mine safety violators contributed to the Buffalo Creek disaster. This had been the most powerful case Gerald Stern had ever worked on. The firm also represented the survivors of the Buffalo Creek Flood , which was the subject of the book Buffalo Creek Disaster , by Gerald M. Stern (required reading in many law schools). Coal mining was a staple in Logan County, West Virginia. The environmental goal was impacted due to the sludge flow into the Guyandotte River, the outlet of the Buffalo Creek. Partial dam failures during Pittson Coal’s ownership of the Buffalo creek mine occurred in 1971 and 1972; however, the mine remained opened. The Buffalo Creek disaster occurred in Logan County, West Virginia on 26 February 1972 when water and coal mining refuse burst through a dam owned by the Buffalo Mining Company, a subsidiary of the Pittston Coal Company. Focusing on the basics of the cause-and-effect principle make the Cause Mapping approach to root cause analysis a simple and effective method for investigating safety, environmental, compliance, customer, production, equipment or service issues. The Cause Mapping method focuses on the basics of the cause-and-effect principle so that it can be applied consistently to day-to-day issues as well as catastrophic, high risk issues. This was another defect of a non-engineered dam. In this paper, I will discuss, the history of judge’s decision in cases where minorities and lower class were involved, the history of the wage income and education rate in West Virginia, and how law affects lower class communities. Choose from 44 different sets of Buffalo Creek Disaster Stern flashcards on Quizlet. Nevertheless, two civil lawsuits filed against Pittson by the flood survivors yielded favorable verdicts and damage awards of $13.8 and $4.8 million respectively. Solutions are typically placed in a green box directly above the cause the solution controls. In the afterword he mentioned how sad he was it was over. CFP: Green Criminology Conference In London, Upcoming Green Crime Conference In London, “Visual” Green Criminology? Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. When did it happen? While Pittson Coal avoided criminal charges, three civil lawsuits filed by the flood survivors were successful. In this case, the dam existed in order to manage the sludge waste produced at the coal preparation plant. Public Service Commission and Water Resources Division inspectors checked the dams but nothing happened. 3, upstream from the previous two. Thus, Lorado Coal constructed a single dam, Dam No. Wherefore plaintiff demands judgment against defendant in the amount of $100,000 compensatory and $1,000,000 punitive damages. Buffalo Creek Disaster- WHO. I am neither the first nor the only teacher using Buffalo Creek materials to supplement a civil procedure course. The enactment and enforcement of this law addressed many of the causes of the Buffalo Creek Flood. This process would have elminated the need for the refuse dam. The disaster at Buffalo Creek remains one of America’s most costly and deadly preventable mining related catastrophes. The Book Buffalo Creek disaster written by Gerald Stern is an expose on the wrongdoings of the NewYork based Pittston company but also a summation of the events leading to the 13.5-million-dollar settlement awarded to the victims. In this case the Buffalo Creek Flood of 1972 is captured as an example of the Cause Mapping method. The book is a paperback edition, and, despite its 1976 publication date, continues to be available. Everything in its Path: Destruction of Community in the Buffalo Creek Flood. The following documents are included in the file ... Click here for the Adobe Acrobat file of Buffalo Creek documents . The three steps are 1) Define the problem, 2) Conduct the analysis and 3) Identify the best solutions. Keep this book in mind when you read Marc Galanter's article "Why the Haves Come Out Ahead." 1 to hold back additional wastewater and refuse. // The disaster at Buffalo Creek remains one of America’s most … Because of the magnitude of the impact to the safety goal, we will focus our discussion on the cause map build from the safety goal. Gerald M. Stern, The Buffalo Creek Disaster (New York, 1976). The analysis step is where the incident is broken down into causes which are captured on the Cause Map. Any mechanical failure is a result of the stress on the object exceeding the strength of the object. Start studying Buffalo Creek Disaster. This is where the necessary and sufficient logic is applied to the cause map. February 5, 1968 Buffalo Creek resident wrote the Governor of West Virginia about her fears that the dam would collapse. In 1970 Buffalo Mining sold to the Pittson Coal Company, which took over the Buffalo Creek mine. Define the Problem. Tempers and public outrage increased following the flood, when officials from Pittson Coal deflected responsibility for the flood, deeming it an “act of God.”  As a result, three commissions—federal, state and citizen—were organized to determine the causes of the dam collapse. Loss of communality at Buffalo Creek. The Buffalo Creek Disaster . In late February 1972 a coal waste impoundment dam along the Buffalo Creek in Logan County, West Virginia collapsed. Buffalo Creek Disaster Paper ...Buffalo Creek: Disaster Appropriation The Buffalo Creek Disaster in February of 1972 was, in no manner of exaggeration, a horrific and awful event. On July 12, 1996, an intense thunderstorm poured 2.5 inches of rain onto the Buffalo Creek … A third civil suit, State of West Virginia v. Pittson Coal Company, sought $100 million in damages on behalf of the citizens of the Buffalo Creek Valley and the state, which hoped to recoup funds spent on recovery efforts following the flood. The commissions determined that Pittson Coal utilized improper dam engineering and construction techniques, and failed to adequately inspect or maintain the three dams along Buffalo Creek. The labor goal was impacted due to the extensive resources required for clean-up and recovery efforts. The Lorado Coal Company opened the coal mine on the middle fork of Buffalo Creek in 1945. The floodwater funneled downhill through the narrow Buffalo Creek Valley causing massive destruction to 15 additional towns before eventually emptying into the Guyandotte River three hours and seventeen miles later. Click on “Download PDF” above to download a PDF showing the Root Cause Analysis Investigation. © document.write(new Date().getFullYear()); ThinkReliability. October 14, 2012 vtlynch The resulting mix of saturated and water resistant soils increased the flood risk when they could not absorb any more water. One of worst floods in US occurred here 26 February 1972, when Buffalo Mining Co. impoundment dam for mine waste broke, releasing over 130 million gallons of black waste water: killed 125; property … The resulting flood killed 125 people and caused over $50 million in damage. Each step will be discussed below. Unformatted text preview: The Buffalo Creek Disaster Writing Assignment (50 Points) Business Law, Public Policy, and Ethics (GBL 295‐Section 14) Michigan State University Students will read The Buffalo Creek Disaster and write a reflection incorporating a discussion of ethics.The purpose of this assignment is for students to think critically about ethics and law. Investigations and complaints in the late 1960s revealed that Dam 1 and Dam 2 were both constructed without permits. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1976. 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