Blog Archives

Another coal-related chemical spill in Central Appalachia

IMG_3626_editHundreds of fish were killed after Cumberland County Coal released a chemical into Kentucky’s Clover Fork River on May 30. Although the company was cited for polluting the river, fines alone cannot erase the damage done to a community and an ecosystem.

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Groups Seek Protection of Virginia Waterways from Mining Pollution

Red River Coal Co. Violating “Last Line of Defense” Clean Water Act Protections Contact: Eric Chance, Appalachian Voices, 828-262-1500 eric@appvoices.org Sean Sarah, Sierra Club, 202-548-4589 sean.sarah@sierraclub.org Matt Hepler, Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, 540-871-1564 mhepler24@gmail.com Big Stone Gap, VA –Citizen and

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EPA Proposal for Toxic Coal Pollutant Won’t Protect Clean Water

Resources EPA Draft Selenium Standards Selenium in Kentucky Fact Sheet Read more about selenium on our blog Contact: Eric Chance, Water Quality Specialist, 828-262-1500, eric@appvoices.org Erin Savage, Water Quality Specialist, 828-262-1500, erin@appvoices.org Cat McCue, Communications Director, 434-293-6373, cat@appvoices.org Washington, D.C.

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Appalachian Coal Companies Face Major Fines for Clean Water Act Violations


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Two recent federal enforcement actions against major Appalachian coal companies, Alpha Natural Resources and Nally & Hamilton, are a positive sign. But can fining coal companies come close to solving the fundamental problem of water pollution that stems from mountaintop removal?

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West Virginia Patriot Slurry Spill MCHM Test Results

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Preliminary water testing results from the February West Virginia coal slurry spill that blackened six miles of Fields Creek reveal that pollutants included MCHM, the coal-washing chemical that contaminated the drinking water of 300,0000 West Virginians in January. This finding is significant because state environmental officials appeared to be uncertain whether MCHM was involved — it seems that once more, polluting companies withheld important information from the public.

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KY and NC: Different States, Same Recipe for Lax Clean Water Enforcement

Yesterday there was a hearing in Franklin Circuit Court for our ongoing challenge of a weak settlement that the state of Kentucky reached with Frasure Creek Mining. The settlement is a slap on the wrist that lets them off the hook for thousands of violations of the Clean Water Act, and it bears a striking resemblance to the settlement between North Carolina and Duke Energy that has come under scrutiny after their recent coal ash spill into the Dan River.

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Another Coal-related Spill Reported in West Virginia

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Early Tuesday morning there was a significant slurry spill at Patriot Coals Kanawah Eagle operation. Over 100,000 gallons of toxic coal slurry spilled into Fields Creek near Charleston, WV. Members of the Appalachian Water Watch team were at the site to investigate.

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Some Results, Few Conclusions in West Virginia’s Crude MCHM Spill

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Appalachian Voices’ Appalachian Water Watch team has received results from several locations impacted by the crude MCHM and PPH spill in Charleston, W.Va. While a superficial review of the results might seem to indicate that flushing individual water systems was effective in eliminating most of the MCHM from the pipes, when combined with additional data and personal observations from affected residents, the conclusions become less clear.

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Realities on the Ground in the West Virginia Water Crisis

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I checked Facebook early on the morning of January 9th, cursing my mild addiction to social media, and was suddenly glad that I had. I saw a news report of a chemical spill in Charleston, W.Va., which I quickly emailed to the rest of the staff at Appalachian Voices. I then packed a bag anticipating the potential to be gone for several days. I knew as little about what I might be doing through my work with Appalachian Water Watch as I did about what exactly had happened in Charleston.

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Fighting for Clean Water in Virginia: Standing up to Coal Industry Bullies

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Today, Appalachian Voices along with our allies in Virginia filed a lawsuit against Penn Virginia, for water polluted by selenium coming from abandoned mines on their land. This lawsuit is one in a series of suits aimed at cleaning up selenium pollution in Callahan Creek.

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