End Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

An aerial view of mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia

Mountaintop removal coal mining is a destructive form of extracting coal that removes hundreds of vertical feet of a mountain using heavy explosives to access thin seams of coal underneath. This “overburden” is then dumped directly into adjacent valleys, burying headwater streams.

Mountaintop removal has a devastating impact on the economy, ecology and communities of Appalachia. To date, more than 500 mountains have been leveled, and nearly 2,000 miles of precious Appalachian headwater streams have been buried or polluted by mountaintop removal.

>> Learn about Nick Mullins, a 4th-generation coal miner who’s “Breaking Clean” with his family this summer.

Our Solutions

Appalachian Voices is committed to promoting and protecting the mountains and communities of the Central and Southern Appalachian region. Here are some of the ways we are working to accomplish our vision for a better region:

Federal Legislation

Appalachian Voices is helping to create a national movement to pass strong federal legislation that protects Appalachia from the impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining. Our primary focus is passage of the Clean Water Protection Act in the U.S. House of Representatives.


Working with the Alliance for Appalachia, Appalachian Voices developed iLoveMountains.org, a powerful online resource and action center with more than 60,000 supporters dedicated to ending mountaintop removal.

Mountaintop Removal in Google Earth

Appalachian Voices partnered with Google to produce the “Appalachian Mountaintop Removal” layer in Google Earth, bringing mountaintop removal directly to millions of users of Google Earth. In 2009, Appalachian Voices was one of five organizations worldwide recognized as a “Google Earth Hero.”