Front Porch Blog

Updates from Appalachia


A Watched EPA Never Acts: 5 Years After the TVA Coal Ash Disaster


It has been five years since the TVA Coal Ash disaster in Tennessee, which sent 1.1 billion gallons of toxic coal ash into Emory and Clinch rivers. While the nation has watched and petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the agency responsible for issuing federal standards for coal ash disposal, little action has been taken. Perhaps this is similar to the old adage that says “a watched pot never boils.”

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Reflecting on a Year of Accomplishments


It was ten months ago when I wrote my first letter to our supporters as the Executive Director of Appalachian Voices. Looking back on the time that has flown by, I take great comfort in knowing that over this short span we made many impressive advances in reducing coal’s impact on our communities and promoting solutions for a cleaner energy future. With the end of 2013 only days away, I want to personally let you know how grateful we are for your commitment to our work this year. Thank you.

Here are just a few highlights of all that we did with your help.

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Five Years After the TVA Coal Ash Disaster, What Do We Have to Show For It?


It’s been five years since more than a billion gallons of coal ash flooded rivers and neighborhoods surrounding the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston Fossil Plant. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency promised to take action, but to this day Americans are asking the EPA: “Where are you?”

We went back to December 2008 to track political and social progress around the globe, and put it side-by-side with the lack of progress the EPA has made toward protecting clean water and our health from toxic coal ash. Check out the timeline below and click it for a larger version.

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50th Anniversary of the Clean Air Act of 1963


Although the Clean Air Act was first enacted Dec. 17, 1963, it wasn’t until the 1970 Clean Air Act amendments that the law was substantial enough to make a memorable mark on history. Perhaps embarrassed by memories of the more clumsy and inept act of 1963, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency itself gave the 50th anniversary the cold shoulder — instead celebrating the of the amendments Dec. 31, 2010.

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However Long Overdue, Our Energy Efficiency Opportunity Is At Hand


Today’s Bloomberg View editorial bears a headline at once forehead-slapping simple and frustratingly complex: Energy Efficiency Is Long Overdue. “On a global scale, we humans are becoming more energy efficient with each passing year,” the Bloomberg piece begins. “Even so, we’re exploiting only a fraction of the technological opportunities to use energy more cost-effectively.”

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