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. In this case, the dam existed in order to manage the sludge waste produced at the coal preparation plant. In a few short minutes, the dam virtually disappeared, and a torrent of water began a 17-mile trip down the narrow Buffalo Creek valley in rural Logan County, West Virginia. The environmental goal was impacted due to the sludge flow into the Guyandotte River, the outlet of the Buffalo Creek. The stress on Dam #3 was due to the volume of water impounded behind the wall. He went into his own law firm, calling it Stern & Huge. Click on “Download PDF” above to download a PDF showing the Root Cause Analysis Investigation. People drowned due to the flood, which was caused by Dam #3 failing. In the afterword he mentioned how sad he was it was over. Learn Buffalo Creek Disaster Stern with free interactive flashcards. Bring Cause Mapping® Root Cause Analysis training to your site, Online Cause Mapping Training Subscription, Cause Mapping® Certified Facilitator Program. Start studying Buffalo Creek Disaster. This is the first cause-and-effect relationship in the analysis. Upon completion of the book The Buffalo Creek Disaster, please write a 1,800 – 2,000-words paper discussing what you read, along with the issues that existed in this case, and the process that took place in order for the dispute to be resolved through our judicial system. This is where the necessary and sufficient logic is applied to the cause map. Solutions are typically placed in a green box directly above the cause the solution controls. Gerald Stern, from the time he had accepted the case, in my opinion, was out for establishing justice. Federal mining regulations and inspections were strengthened, as were the penalties for safety violations. The Adobe Acrobat file available below contains copies of original documents used in the Buffalo Creek civil case. Define the Problem. The water added to Dam #3 was from both the coal preparation plant, as well as recent heavy rainfall. Choose from 44 different sets of Buffalo Creek Disaster Stern flashcards on Quizlet. On February 26, 1972, a huge earthen dam constructed by a coal company without any engineering input collapsed. 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. The Cause Map is used to identify all the possible solutions for a given issue so that the best solutions can be selected. Where did it happen? The overall theme in the book, The Buffalo Creek Disaster, is one of complexity. On July 12, 1996, an intense thunderstorm poured 2.5 inches of rain onto the Buffalo Creek … Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. 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 … The flood is necessary to produce the effect of people drowning, but it is not, on its own, sufficient to produce the effect. The commission reports noted that West Virginia’s lax regulations, inspection policies and penalties for mine safety violators contributed to the Buffalo Creek disaster. Dam #3 had been built on an estimated 40-100 ft of old sludge deposits which provided negligible shear strength. In the 72 hours prior to the incident, the valley had received over 3″ of rainfall. 3, and willfully disregarded safety concerns about Dam No.3 and two smaller dams. Erikson KT. The resulting mix of saturated and water resistant soils increased the flood risk when they could not absorb any more water. From a personal point of view, I would say that the outcome of the Buffalo Creek Disaster case was a bit fair. First we ask four basic questions: What is the problem? During the construction process, there was no specific procedure or guidelines for compacting the material; trees and vegetation were not removed and compaction occurred randomly, at best. In late February 1972 a coal waste impoundment dam along the Buffalo Creek in Logan County, West Virginia collapsed. // However, West Virginia authorities did not shut down the mining operation. This is an example of how the Cause Mapping process can be applied to a specific incident. The disaster at Buffalo Creek remains one of America’s most … In this case the Buffalo Creek Flood of 1972 is captured as an example of the Cause Mapping method. More than thirty years ago, one of the deadliest floods in U.S. history occurred in southern West Virginia's Buffalo Creek hollow. Erikson, Kai. 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. Pittson Coal set to work building a larger dam, Dam No. A year later Buffalo Mining constructed a second dam, Dam No. The Buffalo Creek Flood and Disaster: Official Report from the Governor’s Ad Hoc Commission of Inquiry, 1973. The people being in the path of the flood waters is also required to produce that effect. 1, across the middle fork of Buffalo Creek to contain the wastewater, sludge and refuse from their mining operation. The survivors of the Buffalo Creek disaster suffered both individual and collective trauma, the latter being reflected in their loss of communality. 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. 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. A sample from the award-winning 1975 Appalshop film "The Buffalo Creek Flood: An Act of Man." 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 water removed from Dam #3 was by design, a 24″ diameter outflow pipe located 7-8 ft below the top of the dam. For the Buffalo Creek Flood, the safety goal was impacted because of the 125 fatalities. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The first step of the Cause Mapping approach is to define the problem. Following the Buffalo Creek flood, nationwide inspections of similar waste impoundment dams were conducted. In addition, the Buffalo Mining Company began design and construction of a filter system to handle its sludge waste. 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. Gerald M. Stern, The Buffalo Creek Disaster (New York, 1976). This is because the Pittston Company, responsible for the disaster, was made to pay for the property loss, human loss, and other material damages. The foundation strength was a function of the material of construction and the compaction of the material. The property goal was impacted with 500+ houses completely destroyed, 900+ houses damaged, and significant damage to the highway systems, not to mention the complete destruction of the dams themselves. // When did it happen? Disaster at Buffalo Creek. Standard practice for coal mine operations was to dispose of mine refuse, excess water and other debris wherever was most convenient. Canadian Mining Scandals; Coal Mining; Mining Safety and Health. The labor goal was impacted due to the extensive resources required for clean-up and recovery efforts. Partial dam failures during Pittson Coal’s ownership of the Buffalo creek mine occurred in 1971 and 1972; however, the mine remained opened. 1 and No. Personnel of the Buffalo Creek Mining company did not recognize the imminent hazard of the rising water level impounded behind Dam #3. See Part III, infra. We continue to ask “Why” questions to develop the Cause Map. 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 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). The disaster killed 125 people, injured more than 1,000, and left about 4,000 people homeless. The community was significantly impacted with over 4000 people left homeless. 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. The Buffalo Creek flood led to the development of more rigorous State and Federal mine safety regulations. Arnold & Porter served as counsel to Clarence Earl Gideon in the landmark case of Gideon v. Wainwright , subject of the Edgar Award -winning book Gideon's Trumpet by Anthony Lewis . 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. In the late 1950’s the Lorado Mining Company, predecessor of the Buffalo Mining Company, had obtained a permit from the state to construct an alternate filter technology to process the sludge material, however the alternate process had never been constructed. company who operated the Buffalo Creek site. Keep this book in mind when you read Marc Galanter's article "Why the Haves Come Out Ahead." After the analysis is complete, the best solutions are selected based on the impacts to the organization’s goals. In the wake of the flood, 125 people were dead, or missing, including entire families, 4,000 people were injured or homeless and over $50 million in damage had been caused. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. It is evident that the coal mining company was responsible for the Buffalo Creek disaster. The three steps are 1) Define the problem, 2) Conduct the analysis and 3) Identify the best solutions. The commissions arrived at similar conclusions: the Buffalo Creek flood was not an act of God, but was a preventable mad-made disaster. The Cause Map starts by writing down the goals that were affected as defined in problem outline. Each step will be discussed below. • On February 26, 1972, at 8:05 a.m., all three dams failed and 132 million gallons of water and coal mining waste came crashing down upon the small towns Public Service Commission and Water Resources Division inspectors checked the dams but nothing happened. In this case, the safety goal was impacted due to 125 fatalities. Thus, Lorado Coal constructed a single dam, Dam No. Buffalo Creek Disaster. 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. The steps of Cause Mapping are the same, but the level of detail is different. The investigations revealed that Pittson Coal Company—owners of the Buffalo Creek mine— improperly constructed the impoundment dam, known as Dam No. A West Virginia grand jury failed to criminally indict Pittson Coal. Seven people, including six children—the youngest of whom was only three months old when the flood occurred—were never found. Loss of communality at Buffalo Creek. The volume of water is a function of both the water added and the water removed. It was estimated at the time of the incident there were 137 million gallons of water being contained. Wherefore plaintiff demands judgment against defendant in the amount of $100,000 compensatory and $1,000,000 punitive damages. The resulting flood killed 125 people and caused over $50 million in damage. // The Buffalo Creek disaster encouraged the state of West Virginia to bolster oversight and mine safety regulations, culminating in passage of the Dam Control Act. no comments. Buffalo Creek Disaster Rough Draft The buffalo creek disaster is one of the worst coal mining incidents in the history of the united states. Join US for the next Cause Mapping Root Cause Analysis Public Workshop ONLINE on Jan 26-28! 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. Rebuilding A Community: The Buffalo Creek Case. The Lorado Coal Company opened the coal mine on the middle fork of Buffalo Creek in 1945. All Rights Reserved. In a matter of minutes, 118 were dead and over 4,000 people were left homeless. Arch Moore, who had close ties to the coal industry within the state, agreed to an out of court settlement with Pittson Coal for just $1 million. New York: Vintage Books, 1976 This is a first hand account of the case written by the lawyer representing the victims. It is easier to identify many possible solutions from the detailed Cause Map than an oversimplified high level analysis. In 1973, the Dam Control Act was passed, requiring all earthen dams, including impoundment dams, be constructed with solid engineering design and materials. It was good that the case favored the citizens of Buffalo Creek since this big company. 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. (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. Professor Philip G. Schräg (Georgetown In this case the Buffalo Creek Flood of 1972 is captured as an example of the Cause Mapping method. 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. The Buffalo Creek Disaster This Book was an outstanding depiction of how our court systems in the United States work. Buffalo Creek Disaster- WHO. Had the company put in place measures like frequent checks and maintenance, this collapse could have not occurred. The 21 recommendations made by the Citizens’ commission regarding the Buffalo Creek Disaster include (Erikson, 1976): Prosecuting the Buffalo Mining Pittston Company in front of a grand jury for their negligence; The state suing the company for the damages to roads and brides Buffalo Creek Disaster. misrepresentation is in the case of the Buffalo Creek Disaster vs the Pittston and Buffalo Coal Company. 2. Around 8 a.m., February 26, 1972, after several wet winter days, Dam No. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1976. Copyright ©2012. November 1968 Consolidation Coal Company mine explosion at Farmington, WV. Rainfall was concentrated in the Buffalo Creek and Spring Creek drainages. This book provides a good description of many aspects of civil process, but it also raises questions about the use of courts to achieve justice for powerless people. This was another defect of a non-engineered dam. And how did it impact the goals? The disaster at Buffalo Creek remains one of America’s most costly and deadly preventable mining related catastrophes. 2 and obliterated the small town of Saunders, West Virginia, located just south of the mining site. 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 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. The commissions also determined that mining safety regulations and enforcement at the state level were lacking, likely contributing to the disastrous flood. Once the Cause Map is built to a sufficient level of detail with supporting evidence, it can be used to develop solutions. The enactment and enforcement of this law addressed many of the causes of the Buffalo Creek Flood. You will want to make sure that you © document.write(new Date().getFullYear()); ThinkReliability. Upon completion, Dam No. Schedule a workshop at your location to train your team on how to lead, facilitate, and participate in a root cause analysis investigation. 3 collapsed, releasing 132 million gallons of water, coal waste, silt and other debris. 1 to hold back additional wastewater and refuse. When a coal slurry impoundment dam owned by the Pittston Coal Company gave way under the pressure of heavy rains on February 26, 1972, a 30-foot-high wall of coal-black waste water devastated sixteen different towns throughout the Buffalo Creek hollow of Logan County, West Virginia. Solutions can be documented directly on the Cause Map. 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. Step 1. The Buffalo Creek Disaster . 1. Dam #3 was a sludge refuse dam, built to retain waste material produced by the No 5 coal preparation plant. The people were in the path of the flood waters because they lived in the path and they were not warned of the danger. In late February 1972 a coal waste impoundment dam along the Buffalo Creek in Logan County, West Virginia collapsed. In addition, in order for a dam to fail, the dam has to exist. The Buffalo Creek Disaster, February 26, 1972. Seven were never found. The Buffalo Creek flood was a disaster that occurred on February 26, 1972, when the Pittston Coal Company's coal slurry impoundment dam #3, located on a hillside in Logan County, West Virginia, burst, four days after having been declared "satisfactory" by a federal mine inspector. The torrent of sludgy water destroyed Dams No. Coal mining was a staple in Logan County, West Virginia. CFP: Green Criminology Conference In London, Upcoming Green Crime Conference In London, “Visual” Green Criminology? At this stage, all solutions are considered and put on the Cause Map. There was no other emergency spillway capable of handling higher volumes of water under emergency conditions. 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. This was a historical practice in the coal mining industry in order to reduce the costs of hauling away the unusable byproduct. However, this was not an extraordinary amount for the area and time of year. 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. vtlynch While Pittson Coal avoided criminal charges, three civil lawsuits filed by the flood survivors were successful. Published by Stern in 1976, his book chronicles the events preceding and following the buffalo creek flood of 1972; with particular focus on the legal aspects of this incident. The following documents are included in the file ... Click here for the Adobe Acrobat file of Buffalo Creek documents . Dam #3 failed due to the strength of the dam and the stress on the dam (the water). I am neither the first nor the only teacher using Buffalo Creek materials to supplement a civil procedure course. 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. The coal refuse dams today, many of which date back before the Buffalo Creek disaster, measure 20,000 acre-feet. The parent company settled a class action lawsuit out of court for $13.4 MM, which impacted the liability goal. Investigations and complaints in the late 1960s revealed that Dam 1 and Dam 2 were both constructed without permits. This had been the most powerful case Gerald Stern had ever worked on. The analysis step is where the incident is broken down into causes which are captured on the Cause Map. This process would have elminated the need for the refuse dam. – The Green Criminology Monthly #13 – September 2013, Special Critical Criminology Issue With New Green Crim Article. 3, upstream from the previous two. The resulting flood killed 125 people and caused over $50 million in damage. The book is a paperback edition, and, despite its 1976 publication date, continues to be available. Following the Buffalo Creek flood three separate investigative commissions were established. 2, behind Dam No. 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 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 All Rights Reserved. However, three days before leaving office, Gov. February 5, 1968 Buffalo Creek resident wrote the Governor of West Virginia about her fears that the dam would collapse. View Page At ... he also confessed to taking an unknown monetary payment from Pittston Coal for the settlement of the West Virginia's case against Pittston. In 1965, Lorado Coal sold the Buffalo Creek mine to the Buffalo Mining Company. Any mechanical failure is a result of the stress on the object exceeding the strength of the object. 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Is an example of the flood, the dam has to exist ONLINE... Studying Buffalo Creek documents supporting evidence, it can be applied to a sufficient of... The enactment and enforcement at the time he had accepted the case, in to. Down the mining operation Lorado coal constructed a single dam, known as dam No only three months old the. Compaction of the Buffalo Creek flood, which impacted the liability goal amount of $ 100,000 compensatory $... Document.Write ( new date ( ) ) ; ThinkReliability was concentrated in the Creek. Be applied to a sufficient level of detail is different gerald M. Stern, from the Cause. Level impounded behind dam # 3 failed due to the Cause Map, ONLINE Cause Mapping Root Cause public. Waste material produced by the lawyer representing the victims high level analysis small! Were both constructed without permits mine explosion at Farmington, WV across the middle fork of Buffalo Creek Logan... Your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email compensatory and 1,000,000! The commissions arrived at similar conclusions: the Buffalo Creek flood three investigative... 1972 a coal waste, silt and other study tools, located south! Where the incident is broken down into causes which are captured on the Cause Map wherever was most.! Mining company did not recognize the imminent hazard of the Cause Mapping process can be applied the. And maintenance, this was a staple in Logan County, West Virginia collapsed thunderstorm... Crim article of new posts by email Mapping process can be documented directly on the Cause the controls... Than 500 acre-feet old sludge deposits which provided negligible shear strength not absorb any more water in when! By asking Why questions and moving to the Pittson coal had been the most powerful case Stern... The State level were lacking, likely contributing to the sludge flow into Guyandotte! Recovery efforts mine refuse, excess water and other debris wherever was convenient!

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