The Front Porch Blog, with Updates from AppalachiaThe Front Porch Blog, with Updates from Appalachia



Understanding the Stream Protection Rule

Friday, October 23rd, 2015 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

While the draft Stream Protection Rule is far from perfect, it is a long overdue update to protections for surface and groundwater from mountaintop removal coal mining. Not surprisingly, the coal industry had relied on “war on coal” talking points to fight against the rule, and claims these protections are unnecessary and will undermine an otherwise viable industry. Let’s examine those claims. [ More ]

How much progress are we making on ending mountaintop removal?

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

Last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration pointed to a steep decline in coal produced by mountaintop removal mining. But a closer examination of the data calls into question the adequacy of the legal definition of “mountaintop removal” and, more importantly, demonstrates that much more work is needed to truly end destructive mining practices in Central Appalachia. [ More ]

Two wrongs don’t make a right: mountaintop removal and stream protection

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

Palmer study image, 2014Two recent studies include more bad news regarding the impacts of mountaintop removal on streams throughout Central Appalachia. One indicates that work done to restore previously degraded streams is inadequate, while the other raises important questions about the feasibility of selenium pollution enforcement. [ More ]

The People’s Climate March: Hope makes a comeback

Saturday, September 27th, 2014 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

1webApproximately 100 students from Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., traveled to New York for the People's Climate March. They joined thousands of other students and passionate youth from across the country who are eager to roll up their sleeves and build a better future. In this post, Maggie Cozens, an Appalachian Voices intern, shares her perspective after participating in the march. [ More ]

Mountaintop removal is the 800-pound gorilla at the SOAR Health Impact Series

Thursday, August 14th, 2014 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

SOARHealthMountaintop 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 ]

Science-backed lawsuits protect clean water in Central Appalachia

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

SFPoundSedimentationA recent federal court decision found that conductivity released from mines violated clean water laws. Another case just filed in Virginia challenges the discharge of total dissolved solids from mines in watersheds already damaged by high levels of total dissolved solids. Both cases could result in stronger protections for Central Appalachian streams. [ More ]

Another coal-related chemical spill in Central Appalachia

Monday, June 9th, 2014 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

IMG_3626_editHundreds 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 ]

Announcing the new and improved ACE Project website

Sunday, June 1st, 2014 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

ACEproject2The Appalachian Water Watch team is proud to announce the new and improved ace-project.org the website of the Appalachian Citizens Enforcement Project. Upgrades to the website help the efforts of citizen scientists and provide transparency for water quality monitoring processes. [ More ]

West Virginia Patriot Slurry Spill MCHM Test Results

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

PatriotSlurrySpill Preliminary water testing results from the February West Virginia coal slurry spill that blackened six miles of Fields Creek reveal that pollutants included MCHM, the coal-washing chemical that contaminated the drinking water of 300,0000 West Virginians in January. This finding is significant because state environmental officials appeared to be uncertain whether MCHM was involved — it seems that once more, polluting companies withheld important information from the public. [ More ]

Some Results, Few Conclusions in West Virginia’s Crude MCHM Spill

Thursday, February 6th, 2014 | Posted by Erin Savage | 1 Comment

water-crisis-solidarity Appalachian Voices’ Appalachian Water Watch team has received results from several locations impacted by the crude MCHM and PPH spill in Charleston, W.Va. While a superficial review of the results might seem to indicate that flushing individual water systems was effective in eliminating most of the MCHM from the pipes, when combined with additional data and personal observations from affected residents, the conclusions become less clear. [ More ]

Realities on the Ground in the West Virginia Water Crisis

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 | Posted by Erin Savage | 4 Comments

wv_chemical_spill I checked Facebook early on the morning of January 9th, cursing my mild addiction to social media, and was suddenly glad that I had. I saw a news report of a chemical spill in Charleston, W.Va., which I quickly emailed to the rest of the staff at Appalachian Voices. I then packed a bag anticipating the potential to be gone for several days. I knew as little about what I might be doing through my work with Appalachian Water Watch as I did about what exactly had happened in Charleston. [ More ]

Changing Tides of Collaboration in Central Appalachia

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

NewVison_girlandwoman-300x215

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.

[ More ]