Over the last several weeks, with each report from our staff of a coal-related water pollution crisis, I couldn't help but imagine my favorite river, the Moormans, being poisoned by a mysterious chemical called MCHM, choked by toxic coal ash, or fouled by coal slurry. In fact, it is my river that is threatened. And your river, too. But our shared connection to the creeks and rivers running through our lives unites us in the fight to protect our waters, and that’s what gives me hope. [ Full story ]
Over a month after the Freedom Industries chemical spill into the Elk River, there are more questions than ever about what led to the crisis, and many of the 300,000 impacted residents continue to feel uncertain about the safety of their tap water. "I still don't trust the water," says William Holsting, whose home was affected by the spill. "You wash your hair and you feel itchy and scratchy about your ears, and I don't know if it's the water or just in my mind."
3rd Largest Coal Ash Disaster
Puts Spotlight on North Carolina
Appalachian Voices' water quality specialists were among the first on-site at Duke Energy's massive coal ash spill on the Dan River on Feb. 2. Our pictures of the ash-choked river revealed the extent of the crisis and were featured in media reports across the country, along with much-needed perspective from our North Carolina campaign coordinator, Amy Adams. The U.S. Attorney's office has subpoenaed Duke Energy and officials within Gov. McCrory's Department of Environment and Natural Resources to determine the true cause of the crisis.
It was almost "deja-vu" when we heard about a coal-waste crisis occurring in Kanawha County, W.Va., on Feb, 11. A pipe carrying coal slurry from the Kanawha Eagle Prep Plant to an adjacent settling pond burst, spilling over 100,000 gallons of the toxic waste in a tributary of the Kanawha River. Our Appalachian Water Watch immediately traveled to the site, relaying some of the first reports about the spill, and continues to monitor reports from local residents.
The Farm Bill passed by the U.S. Senate earlier this month authorized up to $75 million in funds for each of the next five years to be spent on furthering energy efficiency measures in the country. The Rural Energy Savings program is designed to help electric cooperatives provide low- and no-interest loans to their customers for efficiency upgrades to their homes -- which will help lower electricity use and monthly costs -- with the loan paid back through charges on their electric bill. [ Full story ]