Groups Sue Alpha for Unlawful Mountaintop Removal

Nov 16, 2018

Expired Mining Permit Poses Risks to Coal River Mountain and Surrounding Communities CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Today, a coalition of groups filed a federal lawsuit against mining company Republic Energy seeking to halt unlawful coal mining activities in Raleigh County, W.Va. Republic Energy is mining one of the only remaining intact ridgelines on the heavily mined Coal River Mountain without a valid mine permit designed to protect water, air, and land on the mountain.


Take Action to Deny an Invalid Mountaintop Removal Permit

Oct 23, 2018

Deny renewal of an invalid permit. Please sign the petition and share at
-This permit is not valid. It terminated as a matter of law years ago in accordance with the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) of 1977.


Public Hearings for Electric Rate Hikes

Oct 8, 2018

Appalachian Power Company and Wheeling Power Company have applied to raise residential and commercial electric rates by more than 11%. WV Public Service Commission is holding public hearings for citizen comments beginning Oct. 9 in Princeton.  APC/WPC say they need the increase in large part because residential consumption has decreased 14% and the number of residential customers has dropped by 11,000 since 2013. Citizens should not be penalized for reducing their usage. Government agencies placing corporate profit over citizens’ well-being is one of the reasons for people leaving West Virginia to begin with. You can attend a hearing in person or you can comment directly here at Enter Case Number 18-0646-E-42T and select “Protest” for Comment Type. Public hearings begin Oct. 9 in Princeton and Oct. 11 in Beckley. Read more for more details and hearing dates and locations.


Eagle 2 Mountaintop Removal Update

Sep 12, 2018

The 2,040-acre Eagle 2 mountaintop removal site on Coal River Mountain continues to receive special treatment from the WV Dept. of Environmental “Protection” in spite of having no valid permit. On Sept. 9, the WVDEP “reviewed and accepted the Annual Blasting Advertisement” for the site, even though the permit should have terminated by law in 2011 for not starting within three years.  In 2012, the federal Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) upheld the WVDEP’s retroactive extension of the permit, and just recently, after years of litigation and foot-dragging, reaffirmed that decision. However, subsequent extensions and renewals are questionable, and the WVDEP has routinely granted them. OSMRE questions the validity of those further extensions, but has yet to take action compelling WVDEP to justify them. Now, even if the permit were valid, it expired June 6. The only document mentioning an extension of the renewal is a July 18 inspection report noting that the permit renewal is being reviewed and extended to August 5.  While the company began destroying 25 acres of the site in March, they can do no more timbering until November because the endangered Indiana bat roosts in the forest.


Voices for Appalachia - A Portrait-Story Project - Displayed at the Judy Bonds Center

Aug 19, 2018

"Voices for Appalachia - A Portrait-Story Project - Written and Narrated by Hundreds is on display in its home at the Judy Bonds Center for Appalachian Preservation. There's a good chance that you or someone you know is included in the collection of over 500 stories, written by hand by the portrait subjects, from 2007-2009. Judy Bonds' story is at page 85. Contact us at to arrange a visit or bring a group to learn this important history in the words of people who lived and are living it. You can go to to see the portrait-stories online. And if you're able, please support the Judy Bonds Center with a tax-deductible donation at Thank you!


6th Annual Peachtree Falls Cleanup

Jul 31, 2018

Coal River Mountain Watch's Tadpole Project had a busy month, culminating with the 6th annual Peachtree Falls cleanup on July 28. Staff and volunteers picked up trash and junk from the mouth of Peachtree Creek up to the falls, with a good time enjoying this local treasure. Thanks to the volunteers and the CREEK kids who make a difference to improve our community! And special thanks to Erin at Active Southern West Virginia who pitched in and helped promote this annual community event!  Please chip in to sponsor the Tadpole Project at Thanks!  (Click "read more" to see more photos)


CRMW Testimony at Congressional Coal Hearing

Jul 25, 2018

Coal River Mountain Watch Executive Director Vernon Haltom testified at the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources congressional oversight hearing titled “Assessing Innovative and Alternative Uses of Coal” on July 24, 2018. The full hearing, with questions and answers, is at The other witnesses seemed to be lobbying for weaker regulations or pitching their companies for government subsidies (corporate welfare). They were: Mr. Michael Klein, VP, Lighthouse Resources, South Jordan, UT; Mr. Julian McIntyre, Founder and CEO, Arq, London, United Kingdom; Mr. Randall Atkins, CEO, Ramaco Carbon, Sheridan, WY. Vernon’s oral testimony was shorter than the written testimony, edited for time. It also had a few details not included in the written testimony, such as the 25-year high in black lung cases and names of friends and family who’ve died of mountaintop removal-related diseases: Judy Bonds, Joanne Webb, Larry Gibson, Carol Judy, and Vickie Terry. Here’s a quote: “Whether it’s coal to Asia, coal waste to oil, coal to plastics, or coal to rainbows and unicorns, that coal is mined from the bones and the lungs of people who can never be fairly compensated for their injuries or their lives.” Here’s Vernon’s written testimony as submitted.