Poverty and the Burden of Electricity Costs in the Southeast: The Case for Utility Home Energy Efficiency Loan and Tariff Programs (February 27, 2014)

An analysis of the relationship between poverty and electricity costs in the Southeast and promotion of stronger electric utility investment in residential energy efficiency. To supplement the report, we have published three maps as part of Google’s new Maps Galley illustrating the need for programs that finance comprehensive home energy efficiency investments throughout the Southeast.


Communities at Risk from Mountaintop Removal (April 28, 2015)

An examination of the proximity of mountaintop removal mining to communities in Appalachia. The study was conducted using maps and census data to detect differences in demographic and economic trends that correlate with recent encroachment of surface mines on these communities, and determined the communities most “at risk” from the practice.

Growth of U.S. Coal Jobs (April 9, 2013)

An analysis of governmental data showing that coal mining jobs have increased since 2009 despite the coal industry’s claim that pollution limits on coal-fired power plants and oversight of mountaintop removal have threatened American coal production and coal mining jobs.

Mapping The Human Cost of Coal (November 8, 2012)

A special 8-page report mapping 21 peer-reviewed studies that conclude mountaintop removal coal mining contributes to significantly higher rates of birth defects, cancer, and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases among individuals living in the region where it occurs .

Mountaintop Removal – Reclamation FAIL

Two new studies by Appalachian Voices and NRDC reveal that 1.2 million acres, including 500 mountains, have been demolished by coal companies in Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee. Over 89% of sites are not currently being used for economic development.

Back to top of PageVIRGINIA CAMPAIGN

The Impact of Coal on the Virginia State Budget (December 12, 2012)

This report by Downstream Strategies analyzes the costs and benefits of the coal industry to Virginia’s state budget, and finds that the coal industry and coal-related activities cost Virginia $22 million more than was paid by these businesses in taxes, fees and other revenue to state coffers in fiscal year 2009. The single largest cost to the state in supporting the coal industry is roughly $37 million a year in tax breaks, a substantial subsidy for an industry that has been in decline for two decades. Appalachian Voices served as a consultant for the report.

Dirty Money, Dirty Power: How Virginia’s Energy Policy Serves the Interests of Top Campaign Contributors (October 2, 2012)

A report by Appalachian Voices, Sierra Club – Virginia Chapter and Chesapeake Climate Action Network that analyzes more than a decade of publicly available data to draw the connection between state campaign contributions and corporate gifts from electricity utilities and mining companies in Virginia and the and the poor record of Virginia in advancing energy efficiency and renewable programs compared to other states.

The Financial Risks to Old Dominion Electric Cooperative’s Consumer-Members of Building and Operating the Proposed Cypress Creek Power Station (April 22, 2009)

This assessment finds a number of significant risks to ODEC’s consumer-members associated with the proposed construction of the Cypress Creek facility. Risks range from financial uncertainty to greenhouse gas emissions to the capture and disposal of combustion waste.

Assessing the Economic Impact of Dominion Virginia Power’s Coal-Fired Power Plant in Wise County, Virginia, Compared to Investments in Energy Efficiency (March 2009)

Analysis of an energy efficiency alternative finds that energy efficiency would be less costly than the 585 MW coal-fired power plant in Wise County, Virginia. It would be less expensive for ratepayers and substantially more beneficial to the Virginia economy in terms of Gross State Product (GSP) and job effects. The beneficial effects of energy efficiency are even more pronounced when a likely federal carbon emissions regulatory program is taken into account.

Economic Impact Analysis: Old Dominion Electric Co-op (ODEC) Power Plant: Town of Dendron, VA and Surry County, VA (Sept, 2007)

This report is a review of the estimated economic impact of the proposed 1500 megawatt (MW) coal fired plant in Surry County, Virginia. The study considers local economic resources, labor force, commuting patterns, and regional industry and finds that money and jobs are expected to flow away from such a large infrastructure project rather than into the community.

Back to top of PageWATER

The Clean Water Act at 40: Real People, Real Successes, Real Threats (October 2012)

Released the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, this report looks at the threats to the clean water protections during the 112th Congress, as well the people who have improved water quality in their communities thanks to this landmark legislation.

Analysis of Negligent Water Quality Reporting by Certain Kentucky Coal Companies and the State’s Response (December 10, 2010)

An analysis of negligent water quality reporting by certain Kentucky coal mine operators and the state of Kentucky’s regulatory response to the investigation.

Technical Comments by Appalachian Voices and the WaterKeeper Alliance submitted to the EPA concerning EPA Guidance on Appalachian Surface Mining (December 1, 2010)

Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OW-2010-0315 Improving EPA Review of Appalachian Surface Coal Mining Operations Under the Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and the Environmental Justice Executive Order.

Back to top of PageCOAL ASH

State of Coal Ash Regulation in NC (Sept 9, 2010)

The EPA recently identified 49 coal ash ponds that have a high hazard potential rating, 12 of which are in North Carolina. In addition, Duke and Progress Energy recently tested groundwater surrounding coal ash ponds for contamination. Of the 13 ponds tested, all 13 were found to violate NC groundwater standards. This report examines the need for federal regulation of coal ash and makes recommendations concerning two proposed regulations being considered by the EPA.

In Harm’s Way: Lack of Federal Coal Ash Regulations Endangers Americans and Their Environment (August 26, 2010)

An investigation building on the February 2010 report (below) identified 39 more coal combustion waste disposal sites in 21 states where the groundwater or surface water has been contaminated with toxic metals and other pollutants. Added to the 67 cases acknowledged by the EPA, that brings the total to at least 137 sites polluted by coal ash or scrubber sludge.

Out of Control: Mounting Damages from Coal Ash Waste Sites (February 24, 2010)

This report explores 31 coal combustion waste sites that are known to have contaminated groundwater, wetlands, creeks, or rivers in 14 different states. At almost half of the sites, contamination extends off the power plant property at levels that exceed drinking water or surface water quality standards. In addition, 22 of the 31 sites are located in communities with high poverty rates. According to the EPA, residents near coal ash dump sites have a higher risk for cancer as well as damage to the liver, kidney, lungs, and other organs.

NC Coal Ash Pond Groundwater Contamination Analysis (October, 2009)

An analysis of ground water samples surrounding 13 coal ash ponds operated by Duke and Progress Energy revealed that all 13 ponds are leaking toxic heavy metals and other pollutants into the surrounding aquifer. Exceedances were found for arsenic, boron, cadmium, chloride, chromium, iron, lead, manganese, pH, sulfate, and total dissolved solids.

Preliminary Summary Report from Water, Sediment and Fish samples collected at the TVA Ash Spill (May 15, 2009)

On December 22, 2008 a coal ash retention pond at the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant broke, releasing over one billion gallons of toxic coal ash. Preliminary analysis of samples collected near the spill site revealed elevated levels of toxic elements in the water, sediment, and fish tissues from the Emory River.