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Bills Aim to Help Miners with Black Lung and Surviving Family Access Benefits

A painting of boots, a hat and other gear used by coal miners.

Miners with black lung disease face a difficult process to obtain modest benefits, as do their widows. Two bills in Congress aim to help miners with the disease and their bereaved families, including by tying benefit levels to inflation.

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Fighting for Black Lung Benefits for Miners and Families

A woman poses next to her husband with her arm around his shoulders.

Kathryn South’s husband, Mike South, was diagnosed with black lung disease at age 35. As they grappled with his disease, the couple also navigated the arduous legal process to obtain federal black lung benefits, a fight that Kathryn continued even after Mike’s passing.

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The Root that Shaped a Region

smiling man crouches near ginseng plants in the forest

By Carolina Norman An author and historian who traveled across Appalachia examining business records of pharmaceutical companies, mountain entrepreneurs and country stores, Luke Manget’s book, “Ginseng Diggers: A History of Root and Herb Gathering in Appalachia,” unearths the complex and

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Why we will win

Mara Eve Robbins, a stalwart activist in the movement against the Mountain Valley Pipeline, reflects on community and hope in this special guest blog.

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Confronting Rising Black Lung

Amid an ongoing surge in severe black lung disease among coal miners, federal lawmakers have introduced a number of bills aimed at assisting affected miners and their families. The Inflation Reduction Act shored up funding for benefits, and advocates are pushing for additional measures.

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No Easy Answers on Coal Ash Cleanup

10 people raise their fists in front of a bronze statue

To protect groundwater and community health, coal ash ponds must be cleaned up. But, as communities in Tennessee have learned, safely removing the toxic waste brings its own set of challenges.

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Virginia Agency Orders Bristol to Address Polluting Landfill

two people in front of a large guitar statue hold signs about the landfill problems

Residents are hopeful after the Bristol Virginia City Council responds to the state Department of Environmental Quality’s order to address landfill concerns.

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Solar Panels on Southwest Virginia Schools Signal a Diversifying Economy

A project manager in a neon vest and construction hat kneels atop the roof of the St. Paul school..

School solar projects demonstrate how Virginia’s coalfield counties are diversifying their economies and energy options with solar power.

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Community organizations applaud action in Congress to advance bipartisan bill to address acid mine drainage crisis

Orange water in a shallow stream

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 13, 2022 Contact: Trey Pollard, trey@pollardcommunications.com, 202-904-9187 APPALACHIA — Today, the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources held a mark-up of the Safeguarding Treatment for the Restoration of Ecosystems from Abandoned Mines (STREAM) Act — bipartisan

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The Supreme Court decision is bad, but there’s still a lot we can do to fight climate change

The U.S. Supreme Court decision about the Environmental Protection Agency was a setback for climate progress. It’s now up to states, towns and utilities to tackle the climate crisis.

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