The Front Porch Blog, with Updates from AppalachiaThe Front Porch Blog, with Updates from Appalachia


Gov. Jim Justice’s Straight Fork Surface Mine again facing possible permit revocation

Wednesday, January 19th, 2022 | Posted by Willie Dodson | No Comments

Updated Jan. 20, 2022: On Jan. 13, Virginia Energy sent a letter to A&G Coal Corporation suspending the permit for the Straight Fork Surface Mine after the corporation failed to respond to the Dec. 8, 2021 show cause order. The permit suspension gives the Justice company until Feb. 14 to deal with the ongoing violations. Failure to do so will then trigger permit revocation and a determination of bond forfeiture. [ Read More ]

Black Lung Association asks Sen. Capito to support 10-year extension of black lung excise tax

Wednesday, December 8th, 2021 | Posted by Willie Dodson | No Comments

Members of the Black Lung Association are asking U.S. Sen. Shelly Moore Capito to support a 10-year extension of the Black Lung Excise Tax to shore up funding for black lung benefits. [ Read More ]

Cleaning up mines owned by Gov. Justice and his family would create hundreds of jobs

Thursday, November 18th, 2021 | Posted by Willie Dodson | No Comments

There is enough outstanding reclamation liability on coal mines owned by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice and/or his adult children to employ 220 to 460 workers for five years, according to our report. Nearly 34,000 acres of Justice-family mines across five states are in need of some degree of environmental cleanup. [ Read More ]

Historic investments in Abandoned Mine Land Program a win for coal-impacted communities

Tuesday, November 9th, 2021 | Posted by Willie Dodson | No Comments

Congress has passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which includes the reauthorization of the Abandoned Mine Land Program and the largest-ever investment in abandoned coal mine cleanup! Now they must pass the Build Back Better Act to invest in workers, families and clean energy. [ Read More ]

Blackjewel mine creates emergency road hazard in Russell County, VA

Thursday, September 9th, 2021 | Posted by Willie Dodson | 1 Comment

Heavy rains caused debris from an inactive coal mine to block portions of VA State Route 632 in late August — an event that might become all too common with climate change-fueled rainfall likely to intensify. [ Read More ]

A bond forfeiture, unpaid fines, and a no-show: one month in the life of a Jim Justice family coal mine

Friday, July 9th, 2021 | Posted by Willie Dodson | No Comments

As a Virginia mine continues to rack up environmental and safety problems, state regulators are proceeding with their strongest enforcement option — bond forfeiture. Based on the track record of related Justice family companies, the situation is not likely to improve. [ Read More ]

Enforcement of mine cleanup rules is needed to protect communities, create jobs

Wednesday, June 30th, 2021 | Posted by Willie Dodson | No Comments

During a recent House Natural Resources hearing on the issue of sluggish, inadequate, or totally non-existent reclamation on currently permitted coal mines, community advocates called for federal regulators to firmly enforce existing regulations and act in the public interest. [ Read More ]

Tighter silica rules needed to protect miners from black lung disease

Wednesday, April 14th, 2021 | Posted by Willie Dodson | No Comments

Coal miners are legally allowed to be exposed to twice as much dangerous silica dust as any other worker. That needs to change. [ Read More ]

Company’s bankruptcy makes it harder for residents to address problems with nearby mines

Thursday, November 19th, 2020 | Posted by Willie Dodson | No Comments

People living near a pair of Virginia mountaintop removal coal mines have long complained about blasting and dust. Now, the company’s bankruptcy makes it even harder for nearby residents to get relief. [ Read More ]

Virginia regulators poised to grant mining permits to questionable company

Tuesday, November 17th, 2020 | Posted by Willie Dodson | No Comments

As companies go bankrupt, they tend to pass off their mine mining permits — and the responsibility to reclaim them — to increasingly questionable entities. This is currently unfolding in Southwest Virginia, if the state mining agency allows it. [ Read More ]

Coal miners call on Congress for support amidst dual threats from black lung and COVID-19

Monday, April 27th, 2020 | Posted by Willie Dodson | No Comments

The coal industry is trying to exploit the coronavirus pandemic for a tax break at the expense of healthcare and disability benefits for miners with black lung, but miners are pushing back. [ Read More ]

Bond-forfeited Virginia Blackjewel mines may finally have a buyer

Tuesday, April 7th, 2020 | Posted by Willie Dodson | No Comments

Three Virginia strip mines, neglected in the wake of the Blackjewel bankruptcy, may finally have a buyer. But it remains to be seen if the new company would be able to reclaim the land. [ Read More ]



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