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Formidable Costs

Coal Company Conducts Business as Usual Near Kanawha State Forest By Tarence Ray Seven miles south of Charleston, W.Va., sits a 9,300-acre expanse of trails, streams and wildlife known as the Kanawha State Forest. The forest’s diverse wildflower and bird


Water Privatization

The troubles of an investor-owned, private water utility in West Virginia illustrate some of the hazards of private water ownership. Nationally, the number of Americans relying on public water utilities is growing, and for-profit water companies face a tougher market.


Clean Water Laws Wrestle With Coal

America’s environmental regulations have hampered the coal industry to varying degrees for decades, and though those rules can protect communities from pollution, the law alone is often not able to secure clean water. Here are some of the trouble spots.


Farewells and Thank-Yous!

We say farewell to two long-time AV staff members, and express our sincere gratitude to our incredible 2014-15 AmeriCorps team.


Saving Energy, One Utility at a Time

Our Energy Savings for Appalachia team has been campaigning to bring energy efficiency to the High Country of North Carolina, a region that spends nearly three times more of their income on electric bills than the average American. The campaign’s


Proposed Stream Protection Rule Released

By Erin Savage The agency responsible for regulating surface coal mining across the country released a proposed Stream Protection Rule on July 16, which is intended to limit mining impacts on streams. The long-awaited rule is not the federal Office


Alabama Coal: Strip Mine Proposal Halted on Mulberry Fork

By Kimber Ray Even to those familiar with Appalachia’s historically destructive relationship with coal, the proposal for the 1,773-acre Shepherd Bend strip mine in northern Alabama seemed unprecedented. Flowing through the mountains of Alabama’s largest coal-producing region, the Mulberry Fork


Virginia Town Tests Natural Pollution Treatment Techniques

Scientists implement bioremediation techniques in an effort to reduce the volume of PCBs at the overflow pond in Altavista, Va. Photo by Kevin Sowers

Using natural methods to remove toxic material from soil and water is an ancient practice that has not been well-studied. A series of projects in Altavista, Va., could be the first to show that bioremediation can be a successful, cost-effective way to treat PCB contamination.


Disposing of a Chemical Past

A view of the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant. Photo courtesy Blue Grass Chemical Stockpile Outreach Office

Rockets and projectiles containing more than 500 tons of nerve gas and other chemical weapons from World War II and the Vietnam War era are stored near Richmond, Ky. If all goes according to plan, those weapons will be destroyed over the next few years in a multi-billion facility in final stages of construction.


Communities Find Solutions to Stormwater

The University of Kentucky’s rain garden is used as a living-learning lab for students. Photo courtesy of the University of Kentucky

To help reduce polluted stormwater from overwhelming nearby waterways, Appalachian cities, towns and universities are deploying green infrastructure and other creative methods.


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