The Appalachian Advocate - Appalachian Voices' Newsletter

March 21, 2015

Although industry gets fined, citizens still pay the price

In one of the largest Clean Water Act deals in recent memory, Duke Energy agreed to pay $102 million to settle federal charges for its coal ash pollution in North Carolina. It's the most recent example of a coal-related company facing fines for violating the law, and although that's a step in the right direction, they can never compensate for the human cost borne for years by citizens living near coal ash ponds and mountaintop removal mines.  

[ Read more ]

BREAKING NEWS … Just as we were going to press, Virginia said a final 'NO' to a proposed mountaintop removal mine on Ison Rock Ridge that would have gravely threatened the community of Inman. Cheers to the local citizens and others who fought long and hard to oppose this!

Two passionate organizers join the team

We're delighted to welcome Adam Wells and Amy Kelly to Appalachian Voices! Adam, a sixth generation southwest Virginian, will be working to bring clean energy and other economic opportunities to the area as our Economic Diversification Campaign Coordinator. Amy, our new Tennessee Energy Savings Outreach Coordinator, will be working with local residents in her home state to save money and create opportunities by growing energy efficiency programs.

[ Meet Amy and Adam ]

Keeping the pressure on in Kentucky

After we revealed thousands of water pollution violations at Frasure Creek Mining's mountaintop removal coal mines, state regulators (finally) took administrative action. Appalachian Voices and our partners are seeking to intervene in that process to ensure environmental protections are enforced and have filed our own lawsuit in federal court.

[ Read about our federal lawsuit ]
[ TAKE ACTION: Ask the president to end mountaintop removal ]

Va General Assembly 2015? Not so bad

For Appalachian Voices and our partners, it was a mostly defensive game this year in the Virginia legislature as we fought a slew of bad bills by industry-backed and climate-denying politicians. We succeeded in squelching the worst of them, but a lot of policy that could have moved the commonwealth toward cleaner energy and a stronger economy fell by the wayside. There's always next year….

[ Read the full story ]

Ancient Fish, Modern Recovery

They can live up to 150 years and weigh more than 300 pounds. The lake sturgeon, a primitive fish found in several Appalachian rivers, has changed little since it swam among dinosaurs. But its continued survival was in doubt until a recent recovery effort.

[ Learn more about this fascinating fish ]

Ask the experts: Part 2

This past year has seen more intense scrutiny of coal ash in North Carolina and around the country. Get the run-down on the latest research and news surrounding this toxic waste and share your questions in the second of our four-part webinar series, "The Evolving Burden of Coal Ash: Examining New State and Federal Protections," featuring research biologist Dr. Dennis Lemly, artist and local activist Caroline Armijo, and Appalachian Voices' North Carolina campaign coordinator and former state regulator Amy Adams.

[ Register for the webinar ]



Martha Paradeis
Childhood trips to the Georgia mountains cultivated in Martha a lasting passion for protecting mountains and an awareness of the economic challenges facing the region.

[ Meet Martha ]


FLoydfest plus Appalachian Voices equals a whole lot of love for the mountains - get your tickets now!


Appalachian Studies Conference
Mar 27 – 29: Panels, exhibits, music and speakers explore Appalachia, with the theme for this year of "Many Mountains, Many Musics." Includes keynote speaker U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander and tours of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. Johnson City, Tenn.
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Energy Savings Volunteer Launch Party
April 2, 6pm: Find out how you can help us gather 2,500 signatures to promote energy efficiency in the North Carolina High Country. Pizza and sodas provided. Boone, N.C.
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Wild and Scenic Film Festival "On Tour"
April 11- 12: A selection of films that tell about our precious wildlands and the people and communities who protect them. Tickets on sale in advance and at the door. Charlottesville, Va.
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AMB Fundraiser for Appalachian Voices
April 16, 7-11pm: Enjoy Johnson City bluegrass band The Honey Chasers and DJ Dank Franks at the Appalachian Mountain Brewery, and participate in a raffle with great prizes! Boone, N.C. Contact Christina Rees or Maeve Gould.
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Earth Day Conference
April 20-21: The aim of the conference is to proclaim the sacredness of Appalachia, its people, land, ecosystems and wildlife. Charleston, W.Va.
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Floydfest 2015
July 22-26: Appalachian Voices is the featured nonprofit for the 14th annual music and art extravaganza in lovely Floyd, Va.! Tickets are on sale, get yours now (and click ticket opportunities button to donate a little to us!).

Environmental Calendar of EventsMore calendar events...


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