A moment of truth for Kentucky’s coal regulators

Thursday, July 30th, 2015 | Posted by Tarence Ray | No Comments

A striking case of corruption related to mine inspections in Kentucky led to the recent criminal conviction of former Democratic state representative Keith Hall. But questions remain about how deep the conspiracy goes. Will Governor Steve Beshear and the state agencies that enforce mining laws in Kentucky adequately investigate? [ 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 ]

Keep the Clean Water Act going strong

Thursday, June 4th, 2015 | Posted by Sandra Diaz | No Comments

Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ended a decade of confusion with the release of a long-awaited Clean Water Rule, which clarifies the scope of waters that are protected under the Clean Water Act. As the EPA pursues updates to the “effluent limitation guidelines," we hope the Obama administration ready to continue the trend of strengthening and modernizing the Clean Water Act. [ More ]

Duke Energy to close aging Asheville coal plant

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment

Asheville coal plant Duke Energy announced plans today to retire its polluting, uneconomical Asheville coal plant and build a natural gas-fired facility in its place. While the news should be celebrated as progress, it also represents another precarious step along a dangerous road that will prolong our region’s over-reliance on fossil fuels and saddle consumers with long-lived investments in natural gas. [ More ]

Going to court for clean water

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015 | Posted by Eric Chance | 1 Comment

fc-mtrAfter we revealed thousands of water pollution violations at Frasure Creek Mining’s mountaintop removal coal mines in eastern Kentucky, state regulators (finally) took administrative action. Appalachian Voices and our partners are seeking to intervene in that process to ensure environmental protections are enforced, and we have filed our own lawsuit in federal court. [ 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 ]

Apologies for the Dan River spill, guilt for coal ash crimes

Thursday, February 26th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 1 Comment

Dan RiverDuke Energy likes to use a tagline about how, for more than 100 years, it has provided affordable, reliable electricity to its customers "at the flip of a switch." But a year after the Dan River spill, Duke seems to accept that coal ash pollution has its own chapter in the company’s corporate story. Now, facing federal criminal charges, Duke will pay for its crimes. [ More ]

Déjà vu in Kentucky clean water cases

Monday, February 23rd, 2015 | Posted by Eric Chance | 1 Comment

15813913282_fd4c121114_zFriday, Appalachian Voices and our partners filed a motion to intervene in a case between the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet and Frasure Creek Mining to ensure clean water laws are being enforced in Kentucky. To anyone following our lawsuits in Kentucky, these recent developments will sound familiar. [ More ]

Criminal charges filed against Duke Energy

Friday, February 20th, 2015 | Posted by Brian Sewell | 10 Comments

12311876586_dd088acae8_zThe U.S. Department of Justice has filed criminal charges against Duke Energy for violating the federal Clean Water Act at coal ash sites across North Carolina. The company announced today that it has reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors to resolve the charges that includes $102.2 million for fines and mitigation. [ More ]

To protect or prosecute polluters?

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 | Posted by Eric Chance | No Comments

FrasureCreek_waterKentucky regulators recently filed an administrative complaint against Frasure Creek Mining for hundreds of violations of the Clean Water Act. As we wait to see if the state is going to take its responsibility to protect the people and water of Kentucky from pollution seriously, Appalachian Voices will continue to do whatever we can to ensure that Frasure Creek and other polluters are held accountable. [ More ]

Nothing to see here

Friday, December 5th, 2014 | Posted by Eric Chance | 1 Comment

KY_Cabinet_cartoonThe Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet's dismissive attitude toward the severity of mining pollution in the state is unsurprising after citizen cases against one coal company exposed the agency’s utter failure to enforce the Clean Water Act. But the jig is up. The Cabinet should stop trying to cover up its incompetence and actually do its job. [ More ]

What will Obama’s legacy be on mountaintop removal?

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 | Posted by Thom Kay | No Comments

GRreport After six years of the Obama presidency, mountaintop removal coal mining continues to put Appalachian communities at risk, leading many to wonder what his legacy on the issue will be. The Alliance for Appalachia just released a Grassroots Progress Report examining the administration’s successes and shortfalls in dealing with mountaintop removal. [ More ]


 

 

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