Intern Spotlight


Dec 31, 2018

Coal River Mountain Watch hosts interns and volunteers who contribute to our work. Here's what one of our summer 2018 interns, Austin Stewart, had to say about his experience:

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Human Rights Watch Report: The Coal Mine Next Door


Dec 12, 2018

Human Rights Watch has issued a new 88-page report, The Coal Mine Next Door: How the US Government's Deregulation of Mountaintop Removal Threatens Public Health. Coal River Mountain Watch provided input including a tour, interviews, and contacts for the lead researcher. You can read the report here, and a news report about the report, with a timeline, here "This report focuses on how Congress invoked the Congressional Review Act, a little-used law that gives it veto power over federal agency rules, to cancel the Stream Protection Rule, enacted after eight years of agency review, that required coal companies to monitor their impact on streams and restore them at the end of a mining project. The Trump administration subsequently canceled a half-completed federally-funded study the National Academy of Sciences was conducting on the potential health effects of surface mining in central Appalachia, even though dozens of scientific studies indicate that it poses serious threats to the health of nearby residents and destroys their environment. In doing so, the administration not only assured the continuation of a hazardous form of mining but also robbed the public of an important tool to assess its true cost."

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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.

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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 https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/dont-renew-an-invalid?source=c.em.cp&r_by=2449826
-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.

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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 http://www.psc.state.wv.us/Scripts/OnlineComments/formalDisclaimer.cfm. 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.

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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.

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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 coalriver@crmw.net 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 https://www.flickr.com/photos/143846974@N07/albums to see the portrait-stories online. And if you're able, please support the Judy Bonds Center with a tax-deductible donation at https://secure.givelively.org/donate/coal-river-mountain-watch/judy-bonds-center-for-appalachian-preservation-2018. Thank you!

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