What Would You Do If You Knew This Place?

Nov 18, 2016

Want to understand why we keep fighting against a powerful industry and complicit government agencies? Watch this video and hear Junior Walk's heartfelt words. Then join us to work for healthy communities and justice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXWBD3qMrFo&feature=youtu.be      "What would you do if you knew this place?"


Alpha Committed Fraud, Alleges WVDEP in Federal Bankruptcy Court

Nov 17, 2016

The chronic polluter coal company Alpha Natural Resources, recently emerged from bankruptcy, committed fraud by underreporting $100 million in liabilities, according to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. Call Harold Ward at 304-926-0490 and tell him his department should not grant new mountaintop removal permits to a company it considers fraudulent.  "The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has filed a complaint with a federal bankruptcy court asking the judge to declare relief granted to Alpha Natural Resources Inc. senior management as "void and unenforceable as having been procured by material misrepresentation and fraud." The Edwight mountaintop removal site above our community, where the coal company's "reclamation" is over a year behind schedule. WVDEP is considering new permits to let this company do thousands more acres of the same. Flyover courtesy  http://www.southwings.org


Stop New Mountaintop Removal on Coal River Mountain

Nov 15, 2016

Nine valley fills, 13 sediment ponds, 23 sediment ditches, and 35 pollution discharge points. The Long Ridge #1 mountaintop removal permit on Coal River Mountain, 847 acres that Alpha Natural Resources intends to destroy, is now one signature away from approval. Please contact Harold Ward, the acting mining director at WV Dept. of Environmental Protection, and urge him to protect community health by denying this permit.  Harold.D.Ward@WV.gov 304-926-0490 More details and reasons are in the letter we sent below (click "Read More").

Dear Mr. Ward,
I understand that the permit face for Alpha subsidiary Republic Energy's Long Ridge #1 surface mine, S300115, is awaiting your signature.
I urge you to deny this permit. Multiple peer-reviewed scientific health studies show that this process is deadly to neighboring communities, with highly elevated rates of cancer, heart disease, birth defects, blood inflammation, and more. The National Academy of Sciences will be reviewing the existing body of research, but in the meantime, I urge you to apply the precautionary principle. In short, I'm asking you to withhold permit approval unless and until this process is proven safe for nearby residents. To approve this permit is to gamble with the lives of the children, the unborn, the elderly, and everyone in between, but especially those who are most vulnerable. You have the clear legal authority to withhold this permit based on consideration of health impacts, as ruled by federal courts in multiple cases.
As a practical matter, you do not have the staff to adequately monitor this site in addition to the others that Alpha has in the area. If anything, you are likely to have your existing staff cut. At the nearby Middle Ridge permit, Alpha has already been cited for three violations since July 25, two of which still reflect that the violations are not yet abated. You can only expect more violations, and more that your staff will not catch because they are spread too thin. Also, Alpha clearly does not need this permit to continue operating. Their neighboring Eagle #2 site was approved in 2008 and work has still not started, in spite of your agency's repeated permit extensions.
Please reply with your decision to withhold approval of permit S300115 until this process is proven safe for the men, women, and children who live in the area. You have the legal authority and moral obligation to do the right thing. Thank you.

New Photos, Up Close on Coal River Mountain

Nov 9, 2016

Here are some photos of active mountaintop removal on Coal River Mountain. But first, a pretty picture of fall foliage on the mountain we love and call home:


Rally to Save Coal River Mountain: Photos and Audio

Oct 27, 2016

On October 17, Coal River Mountain Watch and friends rallied at the West Virginia Dept. of Environmental Protection headquarters in Charleston, WV. Speakers included Coal River Mountain Watch board president Bob Kincaid, co-director Debbie Jarrell, outreach coordinator Junior Walk, organizer Maria Gunnoe (the 2009 Goldman Environmental Prize winner for North America), and more. T. Paige Dalporto provided live music. The unified message to the WVDEP: Halt new MTR permits on Coal River Mountain and everywhere until it is proven safe for neighboring communities, and vigorously enforce regulations at existing sites. The message to everyone else: Mountaintop removal is still happening and still threatening our communities with deadly health impacts, so stand with us to end this abomination.Photo by Chad Cordell.


Eyes in the Sky, Boots on the Ground

Sep 23, 2016

Junior Walk made this video today to get a look at the “reclamation” on Alpha Natural Resources’ 2,000-acre Edwight mountaintop removal site on Cherry Pond Mountain above our community. The WV Dept. of Environmental Protection issued a citation to Alpha on Dec. 15 for falling behind on their reclamation schedule, but then gave them an extension until today. From the video, it looks like they still have a long way to go. All that bare rubble puts deadly silica dust into the community’s lungs when there’s a dry day and a little breeze. It seems like more of that bankruptcy money needs to go toward hiring workers to do something about this mess instead of bonuses for executives.


Stand with Maxima; Sign to Oppose Violence against Mountain Defenders

Sep 22, 2016

Paramilitary security personnel employed by Denver-based Newmont Mining's subsidiary Minera Yanacocha have allegedly beaten Maxima Acuna, 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize winner from Peru, and her husband on their own property. Approximately 80 personnel, with shields and helmets, entered the property to destroy the family's potato and yucca patch and assaulted them severely enough to require a trip to the hospital, according to the article at http://tinyurl.com/articleMaxima. Please sign the petition at http://tinyurl.com/petitionMaxima to demand that Newmont respect Maxima's property, ensure her safety and drop their harassing lawsuit against her. Watch and listen to Maxima's moving song in lieu of an acceptance speech at http://tinyurl.com/videoMaxima . Maria Gunnoe, the 2009 Goldman Environmental Prize winner for North America and volunteer for Coal River Mountain Watch, sent the following letter to Newmont: