Clean Water Protection Act Gains Sponsors, Gives Hope

HR 2169, more simply known as the Clean Water Protection Act, was introduced May 3, 2007 by Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ) with Christopher Shays (R-CT) and 61 other co-sponsors. The bill would amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to clarify that fill material cannot be comprised of mining waste, thereby making illegal the practice of allowing mine waste from mountaintop removal to enter streams and other waterways. The passage of the bill will not entirely eliminate mountaintop removal mining, but it has the potential to curb its use dramatically. Changing the definition would effectively reverse a 2002 Bush administration rule by the Army Corps of Engineers, and restore the original integrity of the Clean Water Act by keeping mountaintop removal mining waste out of streams. The Sierra Club reports that mountaintop removal mining has already “buried and contaminated more than 1,200 miles of streams in Appalachia.”

Since its introduction, bi-partisan support for the bill has grown; the bill now has 153 official co-sponsors, including eight representatives from both parties who represent states where mountaintop removal mining occurs. 218 votes is the minimum to pass the bill in the House. If you would like to see a list of which Representatives have already become co-sponsors, vist To ask your representative to support the Clean Water Protection Act (HR 2169), call the DC switchboard at (202) 224-3121. If you have questions about the bill, or what you can do to help, contact J.W. Randolph at .

Free Handbook for Landowners Now Available

Appalachian Voices releases second edition “Managing Your Woodlands: A Guide for Southern Appalachian Landowners”

Appalachian Voices is pleased to announce the distribution of the second edition of Managing Your Woodlands: A Guide for Southern Appalachian Landowners.

This free guide serves as a manual for private forest landowners who strive to be good stewards and would like to learn about alternative methods for managing and maintaining a healthy forest. The handbook also includes a companion DVD, Landowner’s Guide to Sustainable Forestry: Maximizing Profits While Protecting Water Quality, a new documentary film from the Model Forest Policy Program.

The second edition handbook shares insightful information on forest management plans, working with foresters and loggers, management options and techniques, forest ecology, forest health problems, economic considerations, and financial incentive programs for good management. The resource section of the handbook connects landowners with organizations and information to assist in making a reliable investment in forestland.

The companion DVD allows the viewer to see real life examples of sustainable forestry and protection of water quality, our most critical natural resource.

The film features foresters and landowners from around the country, but particularly Missouri, Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina

To request a free copy, please contact: Amanda Lewis at, or by calling Appalachian Voices at (828) 262-1500 or toll free at 877-APPVOICE.

Wise Energy Tour Travels Across Virginia, Promotes Clean Energy

Starting in early September, Appalachian Voices staff member Mike McCoy along with members of Chesapeake Climate Acation Network, Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, and the Virginia chapter of the Sierra Club began the Wise Energy Tour. Together with three other organizations (Southern Environmental Law Center, Virginia Climate Action Network, and Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light), they comprise the Wise Energy for Virginia Coalition, an alliance of regional environmental groups invested in Virgina’s energy future. This tour is a continuance of the coalition’s efforts to educate citizens and decisionmakers about energy issues in the state. This tour builds off the momentum of the coalition’s last project, a signature drive, which generated a mile-long petition (40,000 signatures) to protest the construction of a new coal-fired power plant in Wise county, Virginia.

At each stop, the presenting team gives a presentation on the current state of energy policy in Virginia, paying special attention to the role citizen action plays in changing the direction of energy legislation. They discuss the potential gains presented by renewables, such as wind and solar, as well as the steps that could be made by simply employing energy efficiency measures across the state and therefore reducing overall energy consumption. Most importantly perhaps, the team teaches attendees how to effectively and professionally contact and meet with legislators. The team has drafted a Clean Energy Pledge, which they encourage participants to use as a tool for talking about energy with their legislators. The pledge has five key tenants: to support investment in energy efficiency and conservation as a top priority; to support the rapid and responsible development of renewable energy resources; to support an end to the destructive practice of mountaintop removal and other forms of steep slope coal mining; to oppose increasing electricity rates to pay for a $2 billion conventional coal plant in Wise County; and to commit to a reduction of global warming emissions of at least 80% by 2050. Though gaining legislators’ signatures on the pledge is certainly a goal of the tour, the more important objective is to get people talking to their legislators and educating them about the issues of global warming, mountaintop removal, and the economic and environmental drawbacks of the construction of a $1.8 billion power plant in Wise county.

Since the Energy Tour started in Oakton, Virginia on September 8, the team has completed 11 additional stops, reaching 120 people. The tour will continue into the initial weeks of November; more dates and locations have already been set and can be found online at The team hopes to reach concerned citizens in every region of the state over the course of the tour. For more information, or to schedule a tour stop in your community, contact Mike McCoy at (434) 293-6373 or via e-mail at


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