Front Porch Blog

Appalachian WaterWatch: Protecting Your Water with Vigilance and Community Involvement

Our Appalachian Water Watch team is busier than ever watching over our water resources in Appalachia. From arming citizens with the know-how to monitor their own water to challenging bad deals between coal companies and state agencies, the Water Watch program is working each day to protect the rivers, streams and drinking water sources in the region.

Ace Project Reinvisioned

Appalachian Voices and The Alliance for Appalachia are expanding our joint efforts to hold big coal companies accountable for polluting Appalachian waterways. The launch of a new website, Ace-Project.org, will provide area citizens with a more efficient way to monitor and report pollution in the region. The website includes information about water quality indicators, details on training for citizens interested in becoming monitors, and a special mapping system to input and track water quality concerns in the West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee region. To learn more or become involved, visit ace-project.org.

Challenging A Backroom Deal

Appalachian Voices’ Appalachian Water Watch team and partner organizations are challenging a backroom settlement between Frasure Creek Mining and Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet in state court. The deal between the coal company and the state agency essentially lets Frasure Creek off the hook for thousands of water quality violations over the past two years, while doing little to ensure that the company fixes its polluting of area waterways and submitting of false water monitoring data. Appalachian Voices, along with Kentuckians For the Commonwealth, Kentucky Riverkeeper and Waterkeeper Alliance, represented by Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center, Lauren Waterworth and Pace University Environmental Litigation Clinic, initially filed a lawsuit against Frasure Creek in October 2010 for submitting false water quality data to the state, followed by a second lawsuit that spring summer for water pollution violations. Follow the legal proceedings at appvoices.org/waterwatch.

New Water Pollution Alert System

Our Appalachian Water Watch team is working with nonprofit environmental monitoring group SkyTruth to launch a new water pollution alert system and toll-free hotline that will allow local people in coal-impacted communities to quickly and easily report pollution spills. Reports are then made public via the website, and site users can sign up for email and text message notifications of spills in their area. The goal of the system is to ensure that water pollution is reported to appropriate agencies, responsible companies are held accountable, and impacted citizens are made aware of the incidents. To find out more, visit appalachianwaterwatch.org, email erin@appalachianwaterwatch.org or call 1-855-7WATERS.

Every year, Appalachian Voices is fortunate to assemble a phenomenal team of rockstar interns from numerous Appalachian and East Coast universities. Enjoy these posts from our interns.

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