Massive Destruction on Coal River Mountain: New Drone Video

Mar 23, 2017

Here's a March 22, 2017 drone video of the growing Middle Ridge mountaintop removal site on Coal River Mountain:  Here are some before-and-after stills of the same spot: Most of the new destruction is within the past month or two. For comparison, here's a video from August 2016: Mountaintop removal is not "essentially over," in spite of what you may have been told. It's still growing, with more permits approved and pending on Coal River Mountain and elsewhere. Please consider supporting our work at Please spread the word. Thank you. See more below:


Paula's Words Go Viral

Mar 22, 2017

Paula Swearengin, volunteer for Coal River Mountain Watch, was born in Mullens, WV, and currently resides in Coal City, WV. She attended the town hall event hosted by MSNBC and Sen. Bernie Sanders on March 12 in Welch, WV. She was able to speak directly to Sen. Sanders and share some of her concerns, recorded on a short video with more than 700,000 views here. Then, on March 16, Paula attended the People’s Town Hall event in Charleston, WV, where she had some incisive comments and tough questions for Sen. Joe Manchin. That video is here. Note: Sharing these links does imply our support or opposition for any candidate, party, or campaign. Paula has more to say, to anyone who will listen. So here are Paula’s words:   Like most of my generation I was born a coal miner’s daughter and granddaughter. I have lived long enough to watch the progression and regression of coal. I have witnessed firsthand the impact it has on our health and communities. I buried my father and grandfather to cancer and black lung. I have lived in prosperity and poverty. I have tasted polluted water. I have tasted some of the cleanest water in the world that no longer exists.


Spring Break Part 2: Miami U. and Hamilton College With Coal River Mountain Watch

Mar 17, 2017

Alternative spring break students from Hamilton College arrived on Wednesday, joining up with the Miami University students to learn about mountaintop removal, radical environmental action history, Coal River Mountain Watch's work, and to pitch in for a Tadpole Project cleanup. On March 15, the participants got to meet and visit with one of the legends of radical environmental defense, Mike Roselle. Roselle was a cofounder of Earthfirst!, Rainforest Action Network, the Ruckus Society, and Climate Ground Zero. For the past decade or so, he's been in the Coal River Valley focusing on mountaintop removal and often pitching in for Tadpole Project cleanups. On March 16, the students got a tour with CRMW's Junior Walk, a 2011 Brower Youth Award winner, and Maria Gunnoe, the 2009 Goldman Environmental Prize winner for North America. On neighboring Kayford Mountain, they saw the vast expanse of mountaintop removal that has destroyed the mountain and endangered the health and safety of the communities below.


Alternative Spring Break Students Pitch In and Learn About Mountaintop Removal

Mar 15, 2017

University of Miami and University of Connecticut students converged on Coal River Mountain Watch for spring break, learning about the ongoing devastation by mountaintop removal and fixing up our back yard and future hemp field at the Judy Bonds Center. Hamilton College students arrive today. While so many students go to a warm beach for a carefree week of fun and games, we appreciate those who leave a warm beach (or anywhere) for serious learning and community service in the snow. Please contact us if you'd like to bring a group to learn about extreme extraction firsthand on the front lines, or do service projects in Appalachian communities.


Growing Destruction on Coal River Mountain

Mar 6, 2017

Yesterday, Junior Walk and Chuck Nelson made a trip on Coal River Mountain. When they got to a berm on the trail, they first thought that Alpha Natural Resources had placed it there to block access. No. The horrible reality is that the trail and the mountain beyond the berm are gone. Chuck, who has seen a lot of mountaintop removal, said it's the worst he's seen.  The spot from where the video at was shot is no longer forest, but occupied by a blasting drill rig. That means it will soon be blasted to dust and rubble.


Remember Buffalo Creek and Take Action

Feb 26, 2017

Forty-five years ago, a coal processing waste sludge dam operated by Pittston Coal Company gave way, killing 125 West Virginians and leaving 4,000 homeless. Pittston called the disaster "an act of God." Then-Gov. Arch Moore, father of current US Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, banned journalists from the area and said, "The only real sad part is that the state of West Virginia has taken a terrible beating that is worse than the disaster." Today, we still have over a hundred active coal sludge dams in West Virginia, and the state legislature and governor want to weaken a variety of protections for our citizens and environment. Come out tomorrow, Feb. 27, to the WV State Capitol, for an 8:30 public hearing on the "cancer creek" bill that would allow more pollution in streams, contributing to West Virginia's ongoing disaster to public health and safety. We've seen what happens when polluting industries get to do whatever they please. More details are below.


Take Action to Terminate a 2,000-acre Mountaintop Removal Permit on Coal River Mountain

Feb 22, 2017

Mountaintop removal coal mining is linked to several public health impacts, including elevated rates of cancer, heart disease, birth defects, and other deadly illnesses. A huge 2,000-acre mountaintop removal permit on Coal River Mountain in West Virginia, issued in 2008, should have terminated in 2011 in accordance with federal and state law for not starting within three years. Instead, the WV Dept. of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) retroactively extended the permit. Now, after years of litigation by Coal River Mountain Watch, the new Cabinet Secretary of the WVDEP has the permit back on his desk with the opportunity to correct his predecessor's mistakes and declare the Eagle #2 permit terminated. Call Sec. Caperton at (304) 926-0440, email him at, or sign the petition at