Thursday, August 14th, 2014 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments
Mountaintop removal's health impacts were the number one concern of eastern Kentuckians that participated in the SOAR Health Impact Series, but the topic was barely addressed at a recent SOAR gathering in Hazard. If they hope to soar beyond political rhetoric, Rep. Hal Rogers and Gov. Steve Beshear must take those concerns seriously, and support more research into the connections between mountaintop removal and health. [ More ]
Thursday, August 7th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
In recent years, outstanding violations and unpaid fines have weighed down coal companies owned by West Virginia billionaire Jim Justice and burdened the communities where they operate. But rather than paying his debts, Justice just spent $30 million to build a lavish sports complex on the grounds of the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. [ More ]
Friday, July 11th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
A ruling by U.S. Court of Appeals today is as clear as the science indicting mountaintop removal coal mining, and affirms what advocates working to end the destruction of Appalachian mountains and streams have been saying for years. [ More ]
Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 | Posted by Matt Wasson | 1 Comment
A study from researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) published this month provides strong new evidence that mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia is devastating downstream fish populations.
Fortunately, the Obama administration has an opportunity to take meaningful action to protect Appalachian streams. [ More ]
Monday, June 9th, 2014 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments
Hundreds of fish were killed after Cumberland County Coal released a chemical into Kentucky's Clover Fork River on May 30. Although the company was cited for polluting the river, fines alone cannot erase the damage done to a community and an ecosystem. [ More ]
Friday, April 11th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment
This week, James River Coal Company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in federal court. Like Patriot Coal, which reemerged from bankruptcy in December, the Richmond, Va.-based company’s operations are concentrated in Central Appalachia and are located in some of the counties most economically vulnerable to coal’s downturn.
[ More ]
Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 3 Comments
Two recent federal enforcement actions against major Appalachian coal companies, Alpha Natural Resources and Nally & Hamilton, are a positive sign. But can fining coal companies come close to solving the fundamental problem of water pollution that stems from mountaintop removal? [ More ]
Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 | Posted by Eric Chance | 4 Comments
Yesterday there was a hearing in Franklin Circuit Court for our ongoing challenge of a weak settlement that the state of Kentucky reached with Frasure Creek Mining. The settlement is a slap on the wrist that lets them off the hook for thousands of violations of the Clean Water Act, and it bears a striking resemblance to the settlement between North Carolina and Duke Energy that has come under scrutiny after their recent coal ash spill into the Dan River. [ More ]
Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 | Posted by Molly Moore | No Comments
On this day 50 years ago, President Lyndon Johnson sat on a front porch of a weary-looking eastern Kentucky home and declared war on poverty. At the time, one in three Appalachians were considered poor. The poverty rate in the region is now closer to the national average — 16.1 percent in Appalachia compared to 14.3 percent nationally — but, as you might suspect, those statistics tell only part of the story. Economic disparities between Appalachian counties and sub-regions remain high, and, as it was in 1964, eastern Kentucky remains a focal point. [ More ]
Thursday, December 26th, 2013 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments
A little more than a year ago, Patriot Coal announced it would phase out its use of mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia as part of a settlement with environmental groups over selenium pollution. Taken at face value, statements made at that time by Patriot’s CEO Bennett Hatfield held promise that the movement against mountaintop removal, focused on exposing the poor economics as well as the irreversible environmental impacts of the destructive practice, had reached a pivotal turning point.
[ More ]
Tuesday, December 24th, 2013 | Posted by Erin Savage | 1 Comment
For more than 15 years, Appalachian Voices has worked to protect the air, land and water of Central Appalachia. We do this work because the protection of the place we live is integral to the health, happiness and prosperity of our communities. We do this work for the benefit of all people in Central Appalachia.
Despite this, we often feel bogged down in contentious rhetoric that pits “treehuggers” against “friends of coal.” We often must spend all our time dealing with problems -- water pollution, dust problems and violations of existing laws -- when we’d much rather focus on collaboration and finding solutions.
Friday, December 13th, 2013 | Posted by Eric Chance | No Comments
This two headed trout was deformed by selenium pollution. Today, we have taken action to keep EPA and Kentucky from allowing pollution like this to get worse.
Earlier today Appalachian Voices and a number of partner organizations sued the EPA over their approval of Kentucky’s new, weaker standard for selenium pollution.
Selenium is extremely toxic to fish, and causes deformities and reproductive failure at extremely low levels. The pollutant is commonly discharged from coal mines and coal ash ponds, but currently Kentucky does not regulate its discharge from these facilities.
These new standards were proposed at the behest of coal industry groups, likely motivated by citizen groups’ success at requiring companies in other states to clean up their selenium pollution. We have also seen the state governments of Virginia and West Virginia take steps towards making similar rollbacks to their own standards, making the EPA’s approval of Kentucky’s weakened standards even more alarming.