March 21, 2015
In one of the largest Clean Water Act deals in recent memory, Duke Energy agreed to pay $102 million to settle federal charges for its coal ash pollution in North Carolina. It's the most recent example of a coal-related company facing fines for violating the law, and although that's a step in the right direction, they can never compensate for the human cost borne for years by citizens living near coal ash ponds and mountaintop removal mines.
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BREAKING NEWS … Just as we were going to press, Virginia said a final 'NO' to a proposed mountaintop removal mine on Ison Rock Ridge that would have gravely threatened the community of Inman. Cheers to the local citizens and others who fought long and hard to oppose this!
Two passionate organizers join the team
We're delighted to welcome Adam Wells and Amy Kelly to Appalachian Voices! Adam, a sixth generation southwest Virginian, will be working to bring clean energy and other economic opportunities to the area as our Economic Diversification Campaign Coordinator. Amy, our new Tennessee Energy Savings Outreach Coordinator, will be working with local residents in her home state to save money and create opportunities by growing energy efficiency programs.
After we revealed thousands of water pollution violations at Frasure Creek Mining's mountaintop removal coal mines, state regulators (finally) took administrative action. Appalachian Voices and our partners are seeking to intervene in that process to ensure environmental protections are enforced and have filed our own lawsuit in federal court.
Va General Assembly 2015? Not so bad
For Appalachian Voices and our partners, it was a mostly defensive game this year in the Virginia legislature as we fought a slew of bad bills by industry-backed and climate-denying politicians. We succeeded in squelching the worst of them, but a lot of policy that could have moved the commonwealth toward cleaner energy and a stronger economy fell by the wayside. There's always next year….
They can live up to 150 years and weigh more than 300 pounds. The lake sturgeon, a primitive fish found in several Appalachian rivers, has changed little since it swam among dinosaurs. But its continued survival was in doubt until a recent recovery effort.
This past year has seen more intense scrutiny of coal ash in North Carolina and around the country. Get the run-down on the latest research and news surrounding this toxic waste and share your questions in the second of our four-part webinar series, "The Evolving Burden of Coal Ash: Examining New State and Federal Protections," featuring research biologist Dr. Dennis Lemly, artist and local activist Caroline Armijo, and Appalachian Voices' North Carolina campaign coordinator and former state regulator Amy Adams.