• CONSOL settlement is a first

    In a landmark settlement, a coal company has agreed for the first time to attempt to deal with biological impairment downstream from a valley fill.

    The settlement, which still requires approval by federal court, was reached with Fola Coal Company, a subsidiary of CONSOL Energy. Attorneys for Appalachian Mountain Advocates and Jim Hecker of Public Justice had sued Fola » Continue Reading.

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  • Partner profile: West Virginia Highlands Conservancy

    The partnership between Appalachian Mountain Advocates and the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy?actually predates our founding in 2001 (as the Appalachian Center for the Economy & the Environment).

    When co-founder Joe Lovett first became interested in the legal issues behind mountaintop removal mining, he sought out Cindy Rank, then the Highland Conservancy Mining chair, who had been tracking mountaintop removal » Continue Reading.

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  • Explaining conductivity

    Evidence that conductivity causes harm in Appalachian streams has only been discovered recently, thanks to a growing body of research demonstrating that conductivity levels are highly correlated with degradation of a stream’s ability to support aquatic life.

    Dr. Margaret Palmer, director of the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center and a professor at University of Maryland’s Department of Entomology who has done » Continue Reading.

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  • Global warming skeptics are wrong

    Public skepticism about global warming has increased in recent years, fed by a group of loud voices ? some motivated by their association with polluting industries; others by their ideology ? doing their best to cast doubt on the science behind the well-established theory that carbon emissions are contributing to a raising of the Earth’s temperatures.

    It would be better » Continue Reading.

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  • Reissued Highland permit continues to ignore the law

    When the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers suspended a challenged permit for the Reylas Surface Mine in Logan County, many hoped this was a tacit acknowledgment that the permit did not comply with the Clean Water Act or the National Environmental Policy Act, as Appalachian Mountain Advocates attorneys alleged and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warned.

    Unfortunately, when » Continue Reading.

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  • Cleaning up selenium AND preserving land

    Lawyers for Appalachian Mountain Advocates have negotiated another important settlement in a selenium pollution case that will not only force a coal company to treat polluted waters but also provide funding to preserve and protect land in Southern West Virginia.

    Selenium is a bioaccumulating toxin that can severely disrupt aquatic life in streams » Continue Reading.

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  • The economic costs of burning coal

    An intriguing new study published in the well-respected journal, American Economic Review, attempts to calculate the economic damage from air pollution from various industries across the nation and compare those to the value of the products those industries produce.

    The study’s conclusion about coal-fired power plants is drawing some attention, and should draw more. As an article in » Continue Reading.

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  • Mining and public health

    Dr. Michael Hendryx, Director of the West Virginia Rural Health Research Center at West Virginia University’s Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center, has spent the last five years studying the impacts of mining on public health.

    His extensive, peer-reviewed research has found that residents in mining areas ? especially mountaintop removal mining areas ? have higher incidents of cancer, heart » Continue Reading.

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  • Partner profile: The Sierra Club

    This is the first in a series of blog posts highlighting some of the important partnerships enjoyed by Appalachian Mountain Advocates.

    Aaron Isherwood, Managing Attorney for the Sierra Club, calls the partnership between Appalachian Mountain Advocates and the Sierra Club “a match made in heaven.”

    Appalachian Mountain Advocates’ Joe Lovett and Public Justice’s Jim Hecker bring litigation expertise won through » Continue Reading.

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  • A “war on coal”?

    If you drive West Virginia’s interstates, you’ve seen the billboards put up by the coal industry complaining about how “Obama’s EPA” is turning much of Appalachia into a “no-jobs zone.” At Monday’s farce of a congressional hearing in Charleston, you heard several Republican representatives and coal-industry supporters complain of a “de facto war on coal.”

    There’s one inconvenient fact, » Continue Reading.

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