Just this past week, Appalachian Voices—along with partners across the Southeast—asked our members to speak out during the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hearing on proposed coal ash regulations in Charlotte, one of eight hearings scheduled in cities across the nation.
The turnout of clean water advocates was large, with over 285 people testifying. The majority were from North Carolina, but concerned citizens traveled from as far as Atlanta, Ga., New York state, Meigs County, Ohio, and Kingston, Tenn. Folks from Kingston, the site of the 2008 massive coal ash disaster, were unsurprisingly passionate about the risk of living near a coal ash site.
Executive Director Willa Mays speaks at the Coal Ash Hearing in Charlotte, N.C.
Environmental advocates, mothers, grandmothers, and technicians used science, poetry, and personal stories to demonstrate the need for coal ash to be treated as a hazardous waste.
On the flip side, business people from the coal ash industry argued that the "stigma" of a hazardous designation might impact their product sales, although the proposed regulation would still allow coal ash to be used in construction materials.
We know that coal ash contaminates groundwater, we know that heavy metals from coal ash collect in sediment and fish downstream. The science is clear. This issue is about clean water and protecting communities.
Thanks for your support,
Slowing Down Coal's "Dominion" Over Virginia
Dominion Energy—the Virginia electricity provider who is proposing a massive power plant fueled by coal from blown-up mountains‚ is delaying seeking air permits for the plant for up to two years. But the fight isn't over yet! We need your help to make sure this plant doesn't get built. Media about our Virginia work can be found here and here.
Maine, Philly, DC, Oh My!
Our Appalachian Treasures team recently finished a multi-city tour, hitting the road with community residents from coal-bearing regions in Appalachia to spread the word about mountaintop removal coal mining issues to folks in Massachusetts, Maine, Pennsylvania and our nation’s capital. Read more about the tour and catch up on Twitter and blog feeds you might have missed!
Snap Away, Photographers!
2010 AMPC Best in Show—"Pushing the Christmas Tree Bailer" by Tommy Penick
The 2010 Appalachian Mountain Photography Contest is going on now through December 17, and Appalachian Voices will be sponsoring the “Our Ecological Footprint” category again this year to encourage photographers to capture images of our human impact on the natural world. With over $4,000 in cash and prizes, this is a competition not to be missed!
Other Things We Are Doing....
Raising Our Voices in D.C.: Staff from Appalachian Voices will be in D.C. this weekend to participate in the Voices for the Mountains conference at Appalachia Rising, and will host a national lobby day on Tuesday, Sept. 28. Come out and join us!
A Little Fall Cleaning: Appalachian Voices' Watauga Riverkeepers are at it again, keeping rivers clean of trash and pharmaceutical drugs. On Saturday, Sept. 25, they will be hosting the Watauga River Cleanup to sweep more than 30 miles of mountain river, and on Saturday, October 2, we will join our local community in hosting an autumn Operation Medicine Cabinet drug take-back day. Word on the street is that the state of North Carolina likes the project so much, they will participate in the spring!