Mountaintop Removal Blasting Complaint, 7-mile Radius

Jan 21, 2018

On January 11, 2018, like most days, Alpha Natural Resources blasted at their Middle Ridge mountaintop removal site on Coal River Mountain. Like most days, the people living closest were shaken and forced to breathe the carcinogenic fallout. Unlike most days, though, this blast shook homes around the mountain along Route 3 from Arnett to Rock Creek to Naoma--seven miles away.  Coal River Mountain Watch co-director Debbie Jarrell called in a complaint, which the WV Dept. of Environmental Protection investigated the next day. The inspector found everything within limits. Alpha recorded using 966 pounds of explosives per blast, with blasts 8 milliseconds apart (we don't know the total yet), where the limit is 3,814 pounds per blast 8 milliseconds apart. Seismographs in the area showed the blast was within limits, but just barely. The report says, "The maximum air overpressure (air blast) recorded at the other structure-compliance point was 132 decibels (133 decibels allowed by regulation)." Just a whisper more, and Alpha would have racked up their 12th violation at this site. Vigilant citizens are needed to hold this company and WVDEP accountable and eventually get this site shut down.


Year-end Donations for Tadpole Project and CREEK

Dec 31, 2017

Watch the Tadpole Project and CREEK video here, and pitch in or chip in here to continue the success of these important programs in 2018. The Tadpole Project made significant progress with cleanup days. Some neighborhoods are now taking it upon themselves to keep their streams clean. In February, the Tadpole Project collected 1,322 tires for recycling. The Coal River Environmental Education for Kids (CREEK) participants took part in cleanups days and learned from visiting educators, such as the WVDEP's Save Our Streams Program coordinator teaching about the bugs in the water that indicate stream health. They went on field trips, such as this one to the Raleigh County landfill where they learned about the importance of recycling.


Challenge Met!

Dec 29, 2017

You did it! We at Coal River Mountain Watch appreciate everyone’s help in meeting the challenge of raising enough funds for our Show & Tell Energy Education & Policy (STEEP) project to receive a challenge grant of $10,000.  Because of so many generous donations and some important grants, we can install a grid-tied solar photovoltaic system with battery backup to provide all our electricity needs at the Judy Bonds Center for Appalachian Preservation. We’ll be able to keep serving our community’s needs during power outages and natural and industrial disasters. The sun, not coal, will be keeping our lights on. And we’ll be able to show and tell about the benefits of solar compared to the coal-driven devastation in our area.


Battery Not Included

Dec 26, 2017

These words can drain the joy from a child’s face when they open up that special gift. We know the feeling—we’re still short the cost of the solar battery backup, $7,800, to meet the end-of-year challenge for our Show & Tell Energy Education & Policy (STEEP) project to receive a challenge grant of $10,000. Huge thanks to everyone who’s gotten us this close!    If you haven’t yet, please give here now to include the battery and meet the STEEP challenge!


Welcome to Our Hemp Project Volunteer

Dec 23, 2017

Join us in welcoming our new volunteer! Vince is spending his winter with Coal River Mountain Watch to get our hemp project off to a good start. He comes to us through the Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) program, in which CRMW’s Judy Bonds Center for Appalachian Preservation participates as a host farm. Learn more about WWOOF at Vince is also learning about mountaintop removal and the other coal industry abuses imposed on our communities, and he’ll be on hand when we go solar. From Vince:


STEEP Challenge 9 Days Left

Dec 22, 2017

Great news! We’ve raised over 80% of the funds needed to meet the STEEP challenge. But we still need to raise another $11,000 by Dec. 31 to receive a challenge grant of $10,000. We know we can rely on our friends to rise to the occasion to make the most of our planned solar power installation. Please help us meet the challenge by giving today at or  The Show & Tell Energy Education & Policy (STEEP) project will install a solar electric system at the Judy Bonds Center for Appalachian Preservation in Naoma, WV, on the front lines of extreme coal extraction. STEEP will educate about solar as a viable source of energy and employment, show firsthand the deadly impacts of dirty coal in our area, and promote policy to transition from coal to renewables.


CRIMP Reveals New Violation on Coal River Mountain

Dec 12, 2017

As a result of a citizen's complaint prompted by the Coal River Intensive Monitoring Project (CRIMP) and our friends at Kanawha Forest Coalition, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has issued another notice of violation to Alpha Natural Resources subsidiary Republic Energy. This is the tenth violation at the Middle Ridge mountaintop removal site, again for failure to properly maintain sediment ditches. This is also the first violation since WVDEP issued a consent order against Alpha as a result of a pattern of sediment control violations and should result in a $3,000 fine. The consent order itself resulted from CRIMP's persistent monitoring, reporting violations, and following up to hold this chronic polluter and the WVDEP accountable. You can help support the CRIMP project with a tax-deductible gift at   .