A white cloth emerges from the Cuyahoga River dripping with oil in 1964. Photo courtesy Cleveland Press Collection, Cleveland State University Library
"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
One of America's most popular laws — the Clean Water Act — was passed 40 years ago when thousands of people demanded that we stop dumping waste into our water and our politicians listened.
Enforcement is another matter. It's not surprising that an industry that will blow up the Appalachian Mountains for greater profits will also defy law to pollute our mountain streams. But the failure of state agencies to enforce the law is astonishing. Appalachian Water Watch has exposed tens of thousands of water violations in central Appalachia, where living near mountaintop coal mining shortens life spans, increases birth defects, and increases cancer risk (see The Human Cost of Coal below).
In the drought-prone Southeast, where two-thirds of all water withdrawals are used to cool electric generating plants and the majority of our waterways have unsafe levels of mercury pollution, we are working for protections through the Red, White and Water campaign. The only way to ensure our water is safe is to continue the struggle and work for our freedom.
Thank you for standing with us.
From our office in Nashville, our Tennessee team is working to end mountaintop removal in the state by passing the Scenic Vistas Protection Act, moving the TVA away from purchasing Central Appalachian surface-mined coal and increasing job-creating energy efficiency measures. [ Read more about our new Tennessee campaign ]
The Human Cost of Coal
Appalachian Voices and The Alliance for Appalachia's innovative new tool aggregates revealing scientific evidence against mountaintop removal coal mining. The new "Human Cost of Coal" interactive map uses current data to plot increased health problems, lowered life expectancy and higher poverty rates in areas with mountaintop removal mining in Central Appalachia.
Ending Mountaintop Removal
2012 is an election year, which means that it is more important than ever that people across the nation are demanding an end to mountaintop removal; help us by hosting an event in your hometown or collecting petitions to end mountaintop removal. [ Read more about our work to end mountaintop removal coal mining ]
Banning Mountaintop Removal in Tennessee
Appalachian Voices is helping to promote a bold bill in the Tennessee legislature that would ban surface mining on peaks over 2,000 feet in elevation, and has bi-partisan support in both houses. [ Watch our TV ad targeted at Governor Bill Haslam and learn about our work on another groundbreaking Tenn. bill ]
Illegal Vote Heats Up Coal Plant Battle
The fight to stop a massive power plant in Surry County, Va., took a surprising turn when local zoning approved for the project was deemed illegal and must be attempted again -- providing us with additional chances to oppose the proposal at every step! Join us at the upcoming hearings in Dendron, Va., to help fight this unnecessary plant. [ Learn more or RSVP to the hearing ]
Hey EPA: Get Your Coal Ash in Gear
With the EPA slow to answer a nationwide call for regulations of coal ash, Earthjustice, Appalachian Voices and ten other environmental groups have sued the federal agency to set a date for dealing with the toxic muck. But opposition in Congress is strong, including a bill that would prevent the EPA from ever regulating the billions of gallons of ash stored in unlined ponds across the country.
[ Join 7,500+ people already taking a stand for clean water ]
Sharing The Plate in Pennsylvania
Thanks to the wonderful philanthropy of a congregation in Pennsylvania—and one special supporter named Shane Freeman—Appalachian Voices was the proud recipient of Allegheny Unitarian Universalist Church's Share the Plate program in 2011. [ Read about their generous gift ]