"I put a lot of money into fixing up the house, I was going to retire on my beautiful five acres on a mountaintop. Then along came them and I'm suddenly in an industrial quarry zone," says Micki Mallicoat, a Gerrardstown resident.
Residents packed into a court appeal hearing saying they never had a chance to publicly comment on North Mountain Shale's permit. Now that permit has added the use of chemicals, or flocculants, to treat the water.
"We do not feel safe or comfortable knowing that flocculant will be in our morning cup of coffee or tea," says Wendy Hudock, a Gerrardstown resident.
Berkeley County Public Water Department's dye study showed mining site water will end up in a local spring and community well. Residents say their well-water is already cloudy and smells like sulfur.
"Unless it's managed well, it's going to pollute the river, Mill creek and the Opeka creek, and eventually Potomac," says Brent Walls, with Potomac Riverkeeper, Inc.
Residents are concerned with polluted dust, water, erosion and say North Mountain Shale is disregarding an entire community.
"There's seven hundred houses on the back of North Mountain, and never are they ever mentioned in any of these trials. They don't even put the houses on their maps, because I don't think they want the judges, and the people who makes the decisions, to know that there's an enormous community on the backside of that mountain," says Mallicoat.
North Mountain Shale attorneys say "no comment," but locals say they're not backing down.
"We will be there every step of the way, if this permit goes through, to make sure they follow their permit. If not, then we'll take action," says Walls.
The mining permit covers 100 acres, but protesters believe North Mountain Shale is working to mine on all 400 acres they own.