Appalachian Mountain Advocates is a non-profit public interest law and policy organization dedicated to protecting the communities and natural resources of central Appalachia and advocating for a just and sustainable economy for the region.

Founded in 2001 as the Appalachian Center for the Economy & the Environment, the organization has worked with individual citizens and grassroots groups over the last decade on the most important issues facing the region. We conduct research and analysis, and we carry out precedent-setting litigation strategically designed to protect the environment and the health of communities. 

Our overarching goal has been to fundamental changes in compliance, implementation and enforcement of major environmental laws in Appalachia while convincing the citizens of the region that it is time to start the long process of replacing shortsighted economic policies with more sustainable and responsible approaches.

All of our court actions and policy initiatives are intended to encourage region-wide (and sometimes nationwide) change. Our media work is directed at raising public awareness of the tragedy befalling the citizens of Central Appalachia at the hands of the coal industry. Each victory will also raise the price of coal as an energy source, ensuring that those who profit from coal and its use pay for its external costs, including air and water pollution, massive public health issues and the economic decline of coal-producing regions. Reducing the coal industries ability to externalize those costs will help make sustainable energy alternatives more attractive. We very carefully chose our project priorities with these goals in mind.

Appalachian Mountain Advocates is working to stop mountaintop removal coal mining, to protect communities from the adverse health effects caused by water and air pollution generated by resource extraction, coal-burning power plants and other destructive practices, and to protect and restore the region’s hardwood forests, which are the most biologically diverse and productive temperate hardwood forests in the world. We want to help Central Appalachia move beyond the reliance on extractive industries to embrace a sustainable future that will bring more prosperity to all its citizens.

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