Recent Aerial Videos


Sep 30, 2021

Here's a sampling of recent aerial videos with descriptions of mountaintop removal sites and related coal operations on and around Coal River Mountain. Some are from our flyover with Southwings on June 16, 2021, and some are from drone flights by Junior Walk. To see more, you can go to (and subscribe please) to Coal River Mountain Watch on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnPu-xSzsMIOhwKDIC8K0qg and Junior Walk at https://www.youtube.com/user/BobaFeattus The old Marsh Fork Elementary School (black flat roof--the white building is the gym) across the Marsh Fork of the Big Coal River from Alpha Metallurgical Resources' Goals Coal preparation plant, under a 2.8 billion-gallon waste sludge dam. The orange ponds are treatment of coal waste before it's put back into the river. 

READ MORE

We Still Object


Jun 13, 2021

WV Dept. of Environmental Protection intends to rubberstamp another mountaintop removal permit renewal on Coal River Mountain. This time it's the 2-square-mile Bee Tree site, inactive since 2014. If Bee Tree sounds familiar, it could be because this was the site where some of our friends sat in trees in January 2010 and August 2011, including a 30-day occupation. In addition to the carcinogenic blasting dust that this operation will send into its neighbors' lungs, it presents the added threat of blasting next to the Brushy Fork sludge dam. To object to renewal of the Bee Tree mountaintop removal permit, permit number S301004, you can comment on the online informal conference (public hearing) at 4PM, Thursday, June 17, at https://apps.dep.wv.gov/dmr/S301004. You can also call in to the conference at Phone number:  # (681) 245-6817, Phone Conference ID # : 512 837 087#. Or you can email your objection by 5 PM, Friday, June 18, to Laura.B.Claypool@wv.gov. Be sure to state that you object to renewal of Permit Number S301004. Thanks!Holding over 7 billion gallons of toxic black coal preparation waste, Brushy Fork sits over abandoned underground mines. It was designed, built, and operated by Massey Energy, whose Martin County, KY, sludge dam burst through into abandoned underground mines in 1994 and again in 2000. That disaster released over 300 million gallons of black goo into tributaries of the Tug Fork and Big Sandy, affecting the water supplies for over 20,000 people and leaving a mess that will never be fully cleaned up. Massey's engineer has assured WVDEP that everything is perfectly safe at Brushy Fork. (Massey also assured their miners that the Upper Big Branch mine was safe before it exploded and killed 29 miners in 2010, but that's another disaster.) Coal River Mountain Watch objects to renewal of permit S301004 operated by former Massey Energy subsidiary Marfork Coal Company, now a subsidiary of Alpha Metallurgical Resources. You can also object. Include the permit number, S301004, in your objection by email to Laura.B.Claypool@wv.gov by Friday, June 18, at 5 PM. About a thousand acres of this site remain "undisturbed." The "mined and reclaimed" portion of the site, visible on the ridge on the other side of the sludge lake and shown in red on the map below, is nothing to brag about, and Alpha has withdrawn their phase 1 bond release application for this portion. WVDEP is also holding an online "informal conference" (public hearing), where you can voice your objections, or you can ask questions of the WVDEP (at the beginning of the hearing), or you can just watch WVDEP go through their statutory motions before they give Alpha another five years to continue blasting this part of Coal River Mountain into dust. The link to the conference is at https://apps.dep.wv.gov/dmr/S301004. From WVDEP: The purpose of the informal conference is to allow comments from those people having an interest which is or may be adversely affected by the Marfork Coal Company, LLC Permit No. S301004, Permit Application Renewal No. 3, located southeast of Dorothy." We say that if you live on Earth, then you have an interest which is adversely affected. And if you care about the people downwind breathing the carcinogenic dust from this site, then you have an interest. And if you're concerned about the people downstream who could be inundated if Alpha's next disaster strikes Brushy Fork, then you have an interest.

READ MORE

We Object


Apr 28, 2021

WV Dept. of Environmental Protection is holding an online informal conference April 28, 4 PM, to hear objections before they rubberstamp another mountaintop removal permit renewal. If you'd like to participate, the link is at https://apps.dep.wv.gov/meet/S300208. We'll be objecting to renewal of this ongoing blight on our mountain. If you participate in the online hearing, you can voice your objections, or you can ask questions of the WVDEP (at the beginning of the hearing), or you can just watch WVDEP go through their statutory motions before they give multi-billion-dollar coal giant Alpha Metallurgical Resources another five years to continue blasting this part of Coal River Mountain into dust. From WVDEP: "The purpose of the informal conference is to allow comments from those people having an interest which is or may be adversely affected by the Republic Energy, LLC Surface Mine Application Permit No. S300208, Renewal #2, located south of Clear Creek in Clear Fork District of Raleigh County." We say that if you live on Earth, then you have an interest which is adversely affected. And if you care about the people downwind breathing the carcinogenic dust from these site, then you have an interest. Since the WVDEP isn't allowing site visits because of Covid, they sent some pictures. Here are a few.

READ MORE

More Death Approved


Apr 22, 2021

Just in time for #EarthDay2021, WVDEP approved another 1.7 square miles of deadly mountaintop removal on Coal River Mountain. Multi-billion-dollar Alpha Metallurgical Resources will blast this area into carcinogenic dust that will drift into the lungs of neighboring children and adults, and they'll fill the valleys to pollute the streams and river for decades. If you think this is a bad idea, it couldn't hurt to politely tell WVDEP permit supervisor Laura Claypool that she signed a death sentence for neighboring people at Laura.B.Claypool@wv.gov. The permit number is S301419. 

READ MORE

Appalachian Communities Health Emergency Act Introduced


Mar 19, 2021

Appalachian Communities Health Emergency Act introduced

READ MORE

Stop Poisoning Our Community


Dec 15, 2020

Contura Energy (formerly Alpha Natural Resources, formerly Massey Energy) subsidiary Republic Energy has applied for another mountaintop removal permit on Coal River Mountain: 1,085 acres (1.7 square miles) adjacent to their existing 6,555 acres (10.2 square miles) of mountaintop removal and toxic waste sludge dams. This process involves blasting the mountain with ammonium nitrate and fuel oil, releasing clouds of dust, mostly carcinogenic silica, into the communities below. With some neighborhoods enduring the daily equivalent of 20 Tomahawk missiles (which the West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection calls a "small blast") and dozens of scientific studies documenting the significant health impacts, coal companies dismiss residents' concerns. Please tell the WVDEP to deny this permit by signing the petition here.

READ MORE

Throwback Thursday: Victory Ten Years Ago


Apr 30, 2020

The big announcement 10 years ago: After 6 years of hard work, from school board meetings to science to protests to a 450-mile walk to arrests to enduring violence and threats, Coal River Mountain Watch and allies succeeded in getting a new school for the kids of Marsh Fork Elementary.

READ MORE