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UPDATE: Man arrested, released after bringing 'toxic' blasting dust to Capitol

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Dec. 5, 2013, UPDATE:

A man protesting toxic blasting dust at the Capitol Complex in Charleston last week was arrested on charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct.

On Nov. 25, Mike Roselle, director of Climate Ground Zero, along with protestor Guinn McGuiness took to the capitol with buckets of coal dust collected from a small West Virginia community named Rock Creek.

Several days later, on Thursday Nov. 28, Roselle was arrested at the Governor's Mansion for trying to raise awareness to the Governor and his office of the dust.

According to other protestors a capitol security official and police officers told Roselle to pick up the jar of dust he placed on the doorstep of the governor's mansion. After coming to Charleston with the sample for lawmakers, Roselle refused to pick up the jar and said he was not going to take it back to Rock Creek.

It was then protestors said he was arrested.

Roselle's bond was set at $20,000 — $10,000 for each charge. He was released on bond early Tuesday, Dec. 3.

Contact the Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's office to push the group's ACHE Act (HR 526, the Appalachian Community Health Emergency Act).

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ORIGINAL STORY:

A group protesting toxic blasting dust met near the Liberty Bell Memorial at the backs steps of the Capitol Complex on Monday afternoon.

Bringing buckets full of dust, Climate Ground Zero claims the "toxic" residue is polluting a small West Virginia community by the name of Rock Creek. They said a mountain blasts that occurs almost everyday around 4:30 p.m. is leaving dust settling on their gardens and in their water system.

Mike Roselle, director of Climate Ground Zero, said Monday at the protest "people who live in counties where they don't breathe the dust don't get as sick as we do."

He said over 20 studies have pointed to the truth that the dust is getting into people's water and causing an even higher mortality in West Virginia — a state that is already dealing with unsettling numbers.

"The bombs go off six days a week around 4:30 p.m. and the dust settles in all different directions depending on which way the wind blows," he said. "We want to raise the level of awareness; it's a lot more than tearing up mountains."

According to the group, studies have also showed they can no longer eat out of their gardens in the communities affected by the dust.

"This is a travesty and that's what we're here for," he said of the protest.

James McGuinness, another protestor, said if it doesn't stop soon the group will take actions on the blasting sites.

"At present, two million pounds of explosives are detonated every day save Sunday in Appalachia," he said. "No one should have to live under this."

For more information on the protest group visit www.climategroundzero.org.