Earlier this month, a group of Appalachian citizens traveled to Washington, D.C., to tell members of Congress and the Obama administration how mountaintop removal coal mining has contaminated drinking water, poisoned streams, polluted air, and devastated local economies in their communities. Judging by the reaction, their stories hit home with many of these decision makers.
Sponsors of the N.C. Senate's coal ash plan say it would be the most comprehensive and strict regulation of the toxic waste in the country, which is just what North Carolina needs. But even though the plan goes further than Gov. Pat McCrory's initial proposal, it gives too much sway to the beleaguered Department of Environment and Natural Resources and a coal ash commission that has yet to be created.
Congratulations to the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for being chosen to participate in an intensive program to reduce home energy costs, stimulate local job growth and curb air pollution! The news is partly the result of a dialogue Appalachian Voices started with TECA and its member electric cooperatives last year encouraging them to do more to help their members make energy efficiency upgrades to their homes. We're proud to be a partner in this project going forward.
Act now to protect Appalachian waters
New standards proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would make testing for toxic selenium unnecessarily complex and expensive for both citizen monitors and regulators. Appalachian Voices is calling on the EPA to strengthen the proposed standards for selenium -- a pollutant from mountaintop removal mines and coal ash ponds that is contaminating groundwater and streams throughout the Appalachian region.
TAKE ACTION: Tell the EPA to protect our water
The South Fork Pound River in Southwest Virginia has been listed by the state as officially "impaired" due to pollution, yet the Red River Coal Company allowed four of its surface mines to discharge polluted water into the river -- in direct violation of the company's permit. Appalachian Voices, Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards and the Sierra Club have taken the issue to court to save the river.