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



Citizens discuss environmental threats and economic priorities during Congressman’s visit

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

People from coal-impacted communities across Central Appalachia recently gathered in Wise County, Va., to share their concerns and ideas with U.S. Representative Raúl Grijalva. [ More ]

Coal slurry spill in West Virginia linked to Alpha Natural Resources affiliate

Thursday, April 20th, 2017 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

A coal slurry spill on March 23, 2017, leaked approximately 5,400 gallons of coal slurry into Crooked Run, a tributary of the Coal River. The processing plant in Boone County, W.Va., where the spill originated is affiliated with Alpha Natural Resources. [ More ]

Fighting for clean water after the Stream Protection Rule

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

When Congress voted last week to overturn the Stream Protection Rule, people braced themselves for the coming impacts. But threats to public water from corporate and political interests are nothing new in Central Appalachia, nor is the problem unique to this area. In the face of these threats, communities fighting for clean water need our continued support. [ More ]

Final Stream Protection Rule released

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

On Monday, the U.S. Department of the Interior released the Stream Protection Rule, which aims to protect streams from the impacts of surface and longwall mining. The final rule offers only modest improvements to protections for public waterways, but it is well worth defending from congressional attack. [ More ]

Trump’s pick for Commerce has troubled history in coal

Monday, December 5th, 2016 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

Wilbur Ross -- a man who helmed a large Kentucky coal company with a troubled history of environmental and miner safety violations -- has been chosen to be the next U.S. Secretary of Commerce. If President-elect Trump truly believes that economic growth and opportunity can only be gained at the expense of worker safety, community health and clean water, he could make no better pick than Ross. [ More ]

Protecting a unique Kentucky fish from mountaintop removal coal mining

Friday, October 7th, 2016 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

The eye-catching Kentucky arrow darter was just listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, largely due to water pollution from activities like surface coal mining. Increased protection for this rare fish will lead to healthier ecosystems and communities. [ More ]

A growing mine is a growing problem for the Russell Fork River

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

The history of the Doe Branch mine in Southwest Virginia is long and complicated, and its future remains unclear. A bankruptcy saga with the mine’s previous owner stalled development in the past year, but things appear to be getting back on track — putting the Russell Fork River at risk. [ More ]

Another step toward clean water in Southwest Virginia

Thursday, April 14th, 2016 | Posted by Erin Savage | 1 Comment

Through a settlement with Penn Virginia Operating Company, a large landholding company, and A&G Coal Corp., a Jim Justice-owned company, several sources of the toxic pollutant selenium in Wise County, Va., will be cleaned up. [ More ]

An end to Frasure Creek’s water violations in Kentucky — finally

Thursday, December 10th, 2015 | Posted by Erin Savage | 1 Comment

Late Monday evening, Appalachian Voices and our partners finalized a historic settlement in our case against Frasure Creek Mining. The settlement follows a five-year-long legal battle to protect eastern Kentucky’s waterways and bring a coal company notorious for violating environmental laws to justice. [ More ]

Understanding the Stream Protection Rule

Friday, October 23rd, 2015 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

While the draft Stream Protection Rule is far from perfect, it is a long overdue update to protections for surface and groundwater from mountaintop removal coal mining. Not surprisingly, the coal industry had relied on “war on coal” talking points to fight against the rule, and claims these protections are unnecessary and will undermine an otherwise viable industry. Let’s examine those claims. [ More ]

How much progress are we making on ending mountaintop removal?

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

Last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration pointed to a steep decline in coal produced by mountaintop removal mining. But a closer examination of the data calls into question the adequacy of the legal definition of “mountaintop removal” and, more importantly, demonstrates that much more work is needed to truly end destructive mining practices in Central Appalachia. [ More ]

Two wrongs don’t make a right: mountaintop removal and stream protection

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

Palmer study image, 2014Two recent studies include more bad news regarding the impacts of mountaintop removal on streams throughout Central Appalachia. One indicates that work done to restore previously degraded streams is inadequate, while the other raises important questions about the feasibility of selenium pollution enforcement. [ More ]