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

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 ]

Massive mountaintop removal mine threatens Clearfork Valley

Thursday, September 14th, 2017 | Posted by Willie Dodson | 4 Comments

The Clearfork Valley of Tennessee has been intensely surface-mined going back decades. Now, Kopper Glo Mining is moving forward with a nearly 1,500-acre mountaintop removal mine on nearby Cooper Ridge. [ More ]

White House halts review of mountaintop removal health impacts

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 | Posted by Erin Savage | No Comments

The U.S. Department of the Interior ordered the National Academy of Sciences to halt its review of the links between mountaintop removal coal mining and human health impacts. [ More ]

The fight against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is not over

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017 | Posted by Ridge Graham | 3 Comments

As expected, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently gave a glowing review to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, overlooking the threats to wetlands, forest, drinking waters and indigenous populations along the pipeline's proposed route. [ More ]

Protect natural resources for Southwest Virginia’s future

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 | Posted by Guest Contributor | No Comments

For all my life, the coal economy has ruled this region and its people," writes Ron Short of Danville, Va., in a letter supporting the Stream Protection Rule. "Now we are facing the demise of the coal industry, and we must save the valuable natural resources that we have left if we are ever to develop cultural tourism and eco-tourism as important parts of a new economy that works for everyone." [ 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 ]

Atlantic Coast Pipeline could face further delays

Friday, September 9th, 2016 | Posted by Elizabeth E. Payne | No Comments

In a letter sent to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Sept. 1, the U.S. Forest Service voiced concerns that the proposed route for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline could threaten several streams in the George Washington National Forest. [ More ]

Rebukes, a resignation and more reasons to worry about coal ash in NC

Thursday, August 11th, 2016 | Posted by Brian Sewell | No Comments

Where does the war of words over coal ash health advisories leave North Carolinians with contaminated drinking water? Exactly where they were before: as distrustful of DEQ and DHHS as they are of their water’s safety. But in the battle between state employees and the McCrory administration, residents are clear on who they trust. [ More ]