Come to the Mountaintop Removal Public Health Hearing May 23

May 18, 2017

Please come speak at the National Academy of Sciences mountaintop removal health hearing May 23.  The hearing is at Chief Logan Lodge, Hotel, and Conference Center, 1000 Conference Center Drive, Logan, WV 25601. There are two parts. First will be three panels: state agencies, coal industry, and environmental/community groups including Coal River Mountain Watch, running from 12:45 until about 4:00. Then there will be a town hall forum where you have three minutes to speak. You can talk about how mountaintop removal has impacted your health or that of your family and neighbors, or about the stacks of existing scientific studies showing that mountaintop removal is public health threat and needs to end now. More details are below, including registration. The committee is "definitely asking people to register in advance" for time planning and accommodation. Mountaintop removal blasting dust cloud over Marsh Fork Elementary, April 2007 


Surface Mine Board Hearing Result

May 16, 2017

Thanks to everyone who came to show their support at the Surface Mine Board hearing May 9. Knowing that you were, and still are, with us is encouraging in spite of the bad news. The SMB dismissed our appeal of Alpha Natural Resources' 853-acre Long Ridge #1 mountaintop removal permit on Coal River Mountain. The grounds for dismissal were, well, strange. Amazingly, the WV Dept. of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) attorney agreed with the coal company attorney that WVDEP officials should not be relied upon for accurate information. The SMB ruled that CRMW is an "articulate and sophisticated" organization that should know better than to trust the WVDEP permit supervisor and instead know the details of the laws ourselves. We filed our appeal in the time frame that WVDEP told us. Unfortunately, that time frame did not comply with the law, the same law that the WVDEP routinely breaks. Stay tuned for more on this permit and others. We're not done fighting yet. In the meantime, please support our work if you can, and enjoy this photo of the Long Ridge area of Coal River Mountain.

Come to Our Hearing May 9; Show Your Support

May 7, 2017

On Tuesday, May 9, we’ll be in a hearing to argue why the WV Surface Mine Board should hear our appeal of the 853-acre Long Ridge #1 mountaintop removal permit on Coal River Mountain. Please show up if you can and pack the hearing room. The hearing begins at 9:00, but please show up by 8:30 for a possible press conference outside and to make sure you get a seat. The location is the WV Dep. of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) headquarters at 601 57th Street SE, Charleston, WV 25304. There's plenty of parking at the WVDEP and across the street at the Kanawha Mall. Alpha Natural Resources (the coal company) and WVDEP (the enablers) don’t want to allow public participation and have moved to dismiss our appeal before it’s even heard. This isn’t the actual appeal to confirm or reject the permit, just deciding whether the board will hear the appeal. This will be attorneys arguing, not an opportunity for public comment. Alpha’s attorneys are the Jackson Kelly law firm, known for such nastiness as withholding evidence in order to deny black lung benefits to miners and promoting a coal silo next to an elementary school.


Blasting Above Coal River Mountain Communities

May 2, 2017

The US military recently used a MOAB “mother of all bombs” in Afghanistan, with a yield rated at 22,000 pounds of TNT. This amount is considered a “small blast” by the WVDEP, and is detonated above the communities on Coal River Mountain at least six times per week, with the resulting carcinogenic dust wafting into homes and drifting for miles. Here are some photos from April 25, including a blast above the McDowell Hollow neighborhood shown here. But wait, there's more!


Support Tadpole Project Cleanup Saturday April 29

Apr 27, 2017

While thousands of people will be marching for the climate Saturday, including some of our folks participating in Charleston, our Tadpole Project will be picking up trash in the Dry Creek tributary of the Marsh Fork of the Coal River. Come on out, meet up at the Judy Bonds Center (CRMW office) across from the Naoma, WV post office at 10 and work until 2. Bring your wading shoes! Lunch will be provided. Please consider chipping in to support the Tadpole Project at our Facebook fundraiser here or at our regular donation page here. Last week for Earth Day, the Tadpole Project did an Adopt-a-Highway cleanup, and the CREEK kids went on a hike at Lake Stephens. More photos are below.


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.