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



How coal ash impacts civil rights

Monday, April 18th, 2016 | Posted by Sarah Kellogg | No Comments

Residents of Walnut Cove, N.C., have fought for years to win justice for community members who have been harmed by coal ash pollution at the nearby Belews Creek power plant. In response to the interest in the threats posed by coal ash expressed by the North Carolina Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the Walnut Cove community showed up in a big way. [ More ]


It ain’t easy living on bottled water

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015 | Posted by Sarah Kellogg | No Comments

amy brown sept2015 Amy Brown lives in Belmont, North Carolina, with her two children. Since spring, she's been living on bottled water. Her tap water, she's been told, is contaminated by Duke Energy's nearby coal ash pits. This is her story. [ More ]


Coal Ash: It’s not just toxic, it’s radioactive!

Friday, September 4th, 2015 | Posted by Sarah Kellogg | 1 Comment

This week, a study conducted by Duke University was published in "Environmental Science and Technology" which concluded that coal ash is more radioactive than its parent coal or soil, and that the radioactivity may exceed safe levels for human exposure. [ More ]


VIDEO: “Contaminated, But Smart!”- Duke Energy’s New Coal Ash Assessment

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 | Posted by Sarah Kellogg | No Comments

On Monday evening, Duke Energy released the executive statement from its study assessing groundwater contamination at two of its largest coal ash sites in North Carolina. Unsurprisingly, Duke Energy’s findings suggest it is not responsible for the contamination found in the drinking water wells of over 200 households within 1,000 feet of the company’s coal ash dumps. [ More ]


Don’t drink the water

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 | Posted by Sarah Kellogg | 3 Comments

dukeplant_averylocklear As part of coal ash law enacted in North Carolina last year, Duke Energy is required to test the well water of residents living within 1000 feet of the massive coal ash ponds that dot the state. Now, the first round of water testing results are coming back, giving residents and regulators a clear picture of just how widespread the problem is. [ More ]


Mountain protectors try again in N.C.

Friday, April 10th, 2015 | Posted by Sarah Kellogg | 2 Comments

DotGriffith North Carolina Rep. Pricey Harrison introduced a bill today to phase out North Carolina’s use of mountaintop removal coal. The bill mirrors one that has been in the legislature before and that received bipartisan backing, with 75 legislators signing a letter of support. Rep. Harrison's bill also aims to help ratepayers during the economic recovery by placing a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants in the state. [ More ]


A first for North Carolina, now open for fracking

Monday, March 23rd, 2015 | Posted by Sarah Kellogg | No Comments

Fracking rigMarch 17 marked the first day in history that North Carolina has been fully open to the oil and gas industry for the dangerous, environmentally destructive practice of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. Though the moratorium on fracking has been lifted, communities and environmental organizations across the state are prepared to continue fighting. [ More ]


Permits and Payments: Will Duke Energy ever stop polluting?

Friday, March 13th, 2015 | Posted by Sarah Kellogg | No Comments

sutton_plantOn Tuesday, DENR announced a historic $25.1 million fine for coal ash pollution at Duke Energy's Sutton power plant. The agency also recently released updated permit drafts for coal ash ponds at other sites, proposed to “better protect water quality near coal ash ponds until closure plans are approved.” Though permitting the pollution will lead to better monitoring, it does nothing to stop or even stymie the toxic discharges. [ More ]


Coal ash cleanup still contested in North Carolina

Friday, December 5th, 2014 | Posted by Sarah Kellogg | 1 Comment

12311876586_dd088acae8_zAs the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency puts the final touches on the first-ever federal regulation of coal ash, North Carolina's response to the Dan River spill is still hotly contested and new controversies about the best ways to clean up coal ash are beginning to emerge. [ More ]


Weak fracking rules pass in N.C.

Monday, November 17th, 2014 | Posted by Sarah Kellogg | No Comments

keep_nc_frack_free2 The North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission issued their final vote on proposed changes to the rules regulating the process of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas last Friday, voting unanimously to approve the rule set. Despite the outpouring of public comments requesting stronger rules, almost all of the commission's changes fell short of what the public overwhelmingly asked for, and the few changes that strengthen the rules only minimally do so. [ More ]


In memory of an inspirational leader and friend

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 | Posted by Sarah Kellogg | 1 Comment

Annie BrownAppalachian Voices lost a dear friend in late September with the passing of Annie Fulp Brown. Annie was a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother. She was also a champion for her community and one of the first people in her neighborhood to speak publicly about her experience living next to the largest coal-fired power plant in North Carolina. [ More ]


North Carolinians speak out against fracking: Are elected officials listening?

Monday, October 20th, 2014 | Posted by Sarah Kellogg | 2 Comments

15538027402_3a1d57e7ca_z More than two dozen environmental and social justice groups came together in Raleigh last week to hand deliver 59,500 petition signatures to North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, calling on elected officials to reinstate the ban on fracking in the state. Clearly, thousands of North Carolinians don't want to see fracking in North Carolina, the question is: are our elected officials listening to us? [ More ]