The Appalachian Advocate - Appalachian Voices' Newsletter


Dear members,

I grew up with the privilege and right to use Appalachia’s rivers and streams. Now, being a grandmother, it is important to me that my grandchildren can be safe while enjoying the same privilege.

Riverkeepers testing dirty water
Our Appalachia Water Watch team fights for clean water through community education, water testing
and litigation.

But across the country, our water is under attack. The threat is not from a complex environmental phenomenon, nor from groups outside our own country. The threat comes from our own politicians and polluting industries in our own backyards.

Current federal regulation already provides loopholes that allow coal companies to pollute our water causing real risk to human health. New legislation, such as the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act, will only make it easier for these companies to damage our environment and put our families at risk.

Appalachian Voices is defending water through multiple avenues, including Clean Water Act lawsuits and community-based water testing. The polluting violations identified in our lawsuits against three Kentucky coal companies show that mountaintop removal results in very real damage to our health.

We need your help to defend clean water.

For the mountains and streams,


House Moves to Gut Clean Water Act

Last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill strip 40 years of baseline protections for our nation's waters- and would spell disaster for our country, especially in states where mountaintop removal coal mining is practiced. While we are hopeful that the bill won't pass when it gets to the Senate, we will need your help to make sure it doesn't.
[ Get more info on our Front Porch Blog. ]

Mountaintop Removal Causes Birth Defects

Ultrasound photo

A new study found rates for a number of birth defects is indeed higher in mountaintop removal areas as compared to other coal mining and non-mining areas. This comes as little surprise since it's already been shown again and again that mountaintop removal mining areas have higher rates of cancers, respiratory illnesses, chronic heart disease, and more.
[ Read more about the study here. ]

Why We Need a Strong Federal Clean Water Act

Splashing in the River

We’re still pursuing justice in Kentucky with our notice to sue ICG and Frasure Creek, the two largest mountaintop removal coal companies in Kentucky, for over 4,000 additional Clean Water Act violations -- on top of the more than 20,000 violations we've already uncovered. State agencies are required to review coal companys' water monitoring reports, but oftentimes these underfunded and understaffed state agencies are "captured" by the very agencies they are supposed to be regulating. [ Visit for the full story. Or visit our litigation page for the full scoop on our efforts in Kentucky.]

Appalachian Roundup....

(More work Appalachian Voices is doing to save mountains)

The Last MountainCOMING TO A THEATER NEAR YOU: The issue of mountaintop removal coal mining has already hit national theaters and moved audiences nationwide since The Last Mountain--an Official Sundance Festival Selection--was released in June. Appalachian Voices will be at select screenings to encourage movie-goers to join the movement to save our mountains. [Find a screening in your area]

MUSIC ON THE MOUNTAINTOP: Tickets are now on sale for the fourth annual Music on the Mountaintop festival a two-day musical extravaganza near Boone, NC on August 26-27 featuring Sam Bush, Acoustic Syndicate, Greensky Bluegrass, Railroad Earth, among many others. Appalachian Voices receives a portion of the proceeds from this festival, so come enjoy great tunes and help save mountains.



Your Price is Right
What is your clean air worth to you? What about clean water? Become a member today by donating what your can, or what you think our work is worth.
[ Click here to become a member at a price of your choosing! ]


App Voices Logo
Call for Nominations
We are now taking nominations for our Board of Directors. Deadline for nominations is August 15, and voting will take place in October.
[ Click here to learn more or submit a nomination. ]


Shoe Promo
Abbadabba's Shoes
Atlanta, GA: You can help stop mountaintop removal just by buying cool shoes! Purchase any pair of shoes from the Merrell Barefoot Collection and Abbadabba's will donate $5 to Appalachian Voices. Now until July 24th.



The Last Mountain
ONGOING: Don't miss your chance to see this documentary film that examines Coal River Valley's fight to save their community from Big Coal.
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Virginia Highlands Festival
July 23-August 7: Arts and crafts, live music, photography competitions and more. Abingdon, Va.
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Boone Loves Mountains
July 28: More music to save mountains! FEATURING: Uncle Mountain & Matrimony. 9pm doors. Boone Saloon, ages 21+. Boone, NC.
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Movies, Mountains & Pizza
Aug 5: The Last Mountain screening, Q&A and after party with Appalachian Voices. Charlotte, NC.
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Battle for Blair Mountain Documentary
August 14, 8:00 p.m. EST: Watch CNN In America's documentary, "Battle for Blair Mountain.".

Environmental Calendar of EventsCheck out our full calendar of environmental goings-on!

July 20, 2011 ~ Vol. 3, No. 7

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Boone, N.C. • Charlottesville, Va. Appalachian Voices Raleigh, N.C. • Knoxville, Tenn.