The Front Porch Blog, with Updates from AppalachiaThe Front Porch Blog, with Updates from Appalachia



Citizen scientists uncover water quality violations in Kentucky national forest

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 | Posted by Matt Hepler | No Comments

Citizen scientists discovered that acid mine drainage is causing a creek in Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest to flow a bright orange, and they spurred state regulators to issue citations to the mine operators. But mining company Revelation Energy is in bankruptcy, which leaves big questions about who will clean up the mess — and when. [ More ]


Bankrupt Westmoreland Coal granted permission to sever worker agreements

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019 | Posted by Matt Hepler | No Comments

A federal bankruptcy judge ruled that Westmoreland Coal Company can back out of its collective bargaining agreements with current workers and retirees as soon as Feb. 28, putting pensions and health benefits for thousands of people at risk. [ More ]


Virginians brace for the fallout from Westmoreland Coal’s bankruptcy

Friday, January 11th, 2019 | Posted by Matt Hepler | No Comments

Westmoreland Coal's bankruptcy puts health benefits for 500 Virginians and pensions for 7,000 former Virginia miners in jeopardy. A bill proposed in the Senate would protect these benefits — and also shore up the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund. [ More ]


Westmoreland Coal’s Appalachian connection

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019 | Posted by Matt Hepler | No Comments

In October 2018, the oldest coal company in the United States filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. While now largely operating in the western United States, Westmoreland has many ties to Southwest Virginia. [ More ]


Abandoned coal relics cleaned up with settlement funds

Friday, June 22nd, 2018 | Posted by Matt Hepler | No Comments

The sites of two abandoned coal tipples in Southwest Virginia were recently reclaimed thanks to settlement funds resulting from a water pollution lawsuit. [ More ]


Defending community rights to clean water enforcement

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 | Posted by Matt Hepler | 1 Comment

After four years of effort, a favorable ruling in Virginia this month confirmed the rights of citizens to participate in coal mine inspections. [ More ]