Written by Willie Dodson


Willie Dodson

A Virginia native who now splits his time between Johnson City, Tenn., and Wise County, Va., Willie has organized with environmental and social justice campaigns in the region for more than a decade. He is Appalachian Voices' Central Appalachian Field Coordinator.

Residents Across Five States Benefit From Local Air Quality Monitoring

Through the Upper South and Appalachia Citizen Air Monitoring Project, community members and organizations are collecting data about local air quality.

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Opposition to Proposed Prison on Mine

Environmental risks and negative social, economic and mental-health impacts to prisoners and communities are among the concerns voiced over a plan to build a prison on top of a former mine.

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man stands at podium in front of statue of a miner, banner in background says "Black Lung Association"

Regulators Poised to Update Miners’ Protections from Silica Dust

Expected new silica dust regulations in mines could combat the rise of black lung disease. However, the effects of an ongoing federal silica enforcement initiative remain unclear.

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gray dust hovers between two trees

As EPA Prepares to Update Federal Air Quality Limits, Coal Dust Looms Large in Eunice

Frustrated with constant coal dust, residents of Eunice, West Virginia, asked the state to install an air quality monitoring device in their community. The request was denied.

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A Cloud of Coal Mine Dust over a West Virginia Community Points to Regulatory Shortcomings

As residents of the Eunice community in West Virginia grapple with coal mine dust, regulations governing air pollution offer little help.

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five miners wearing shirts that say Black Lung Kills gather around a notepad

Black Lung Benefit Fund Would See Major Boost from Change to Coal Tax

Changing the structure of a tax that funds federal benefits for miners could bring tens of millions of dollars annually to the cash-strapped Black Lung Disability Trust Fund.

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dust rising from surface mine

Despite Decline of Coal, Mining Remains Aggressive on Coal River Mountain

Despite a national coal downturn, mining has not slowed much in Raleigh County, West Virginia, where companies have proposed two new mountaintop removal coal mines.

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VA Initiates Bond Forfeiture on Justice-Owned Mines

Virginia regulators initiated bond forfeiture at two coal mines owned by the family of West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. The regulators cited failure to pay penalties and chronic environmental and public safety violations.

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black and white graphic with skeleton wearing miner hat, text reads "black lung kills"

Bankruptcies Highlight Concerns with Black Lung Benefits Fund

Coal company bankruptcies are putting the federal Black Lung Disability Trust Fund in further jeopardy.

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complicated black lung disease

Funding for Black Lung Benefits Halved

A tax on coal companies funding benefits for former miners with black lung disease was halved at the first of the year.

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