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Kayford Mountain in West Virginia has been devastated by mountaintop removal mining. There are now dozens of studies demonstrating that those who live in proximity to mountaintop removal mining operations face higher levels of cancer, birth defects and other health issues.
(Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice)
Article December 12, 2014

President Obama Earns "C" on Mountaintop Removal Mining Report Card

The mining industry and its allies have been crying long and hard since President Obama took office, but the other side of the story has not gotten nearly enough attention. The problem is not that President Obama has done too much to regulate coal mining; the problem is that he could do more—much more—to protect the families and communities of Appalachia.

Over 2,000 miles of stream and more that 500 mountains have been destroyed by mountaintop removal.
(Photo courtesy of Mark Schmerling)
Press Release December 8, 2014

Grassroots Progress Report Evaluates President Obama’s Legacy in Appalachia

The report discusses the Obama Administration’s successes and shortfalls in addressing the impacts of mountaintop removal and investing in a just and sustainable economy in Appalachia

document September 30, 2014

Court Document: Amicus Brief on Behalf of Community Groups in Support of EPA Veto of Spruce Mountaintop Removal Mine

Amicus Brief filed by Local Community Groups in the U.S. District Court for D.C. in support of EPA’s decision to veto the Spruce No. 1 Permit

An aerial view of Marsh Fork Elementary School, which sat at the foot of a huge mountaintop removal mining site.
(Photo Courtesy of Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition)
Article August 27, 2014

ACHE Act: A Way to End Mountaintop Removal Mining

Coalfield residents living near mountaintop removal mining sites have long suspected this terrible, destructive practice is hurting our health.
I first started thinking about it during the long fight to replace the Marsh Fork Elementary School, which sat at the foot of a huge mountaintop removal mining site near my home in Peachtree Hollow.

document July 11, 2014

Court Decision: Federal Appeals Court Upholds EPA Efforts To Protect Appalachian Waters and Communities

A federal appeals court sided with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a large coalition of citizen groups in upholding an Obama administration policy to scrutinize pollution from severe mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled against the National Mining Association, the State of West Virginia, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and other coal industry groups, who brought the case against the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers.

A waterfall in the Appalachian mountains
(Konstantin L / Shutterstock)
Press Release: Victory July 11, 2014

Federal Appeals Court Upholds EPA Efforts To Protect Appalachian Waters and Communities

Court rejects coal industry’s challenge to Obama Administration’s effort to rein in mountaintop removal mining

Larry Gibson stands on Kayford Mountain in West Virginia.
(Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice)
video February 26, 2014

A Hero is Someone Who Doesn’t Get Used to This

Mountain Hero Larry Gibson’s courage to stand up against mountaintop removal mining inspired and gave voice to countless other Americans who live with the injustices of environmental pollution and destruction.

document October 21, 2013

Motion for Summary Judgment of Plaintiffs Coal River Mountain Watch, et al

Legal action challenges the Department of the Interior to reinstate “Stream Buffer Zone” safeguard to protect Appalachian streams from the extreme destruction of mountaintop removal coal mining.

document May 7, 2013

Community Petition to EPA for Rulemaking on Mountaintop Removal Pollution Water Quality Standard

A coalition of Appalachian and national groups pressed the Environmental Protection Agency for stronger protection for their waters from the most extreme form of coal mining, mountaintop removal.

Press Release May 7, 2013

Groups Petition U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for Water Quality Standard in Appalachia to Protect Communities from Mountaintop Removal Mining Pollution

Appalachian communities need EPA to set a water quality standard to protect them from mountaintop removal mining pollution

Press Release May 1, 2013

United Nations Working Group Concludes U.S. Visit Exploring Human Rights Cost of Mountaintop Removal Mining

The United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights has concluded a visit to communities in West Virginia to explore the human rights cost of mountaintop removal mining. In West Virginia on Thursday of last week (April 25), the UN Working Group conducted morning meetings with officials at the West Virginia Department of Environmental…

Article April 3, 2013

Going to Extremes is Bad Energy Policy

Just as clean, renewable energy is lifting off and the impacts of climate disruption become ever more visible, fossil energy production is becoming dramatically more extreme. But extreme fossil energy production is exactly what we don’t need. In just the last two years, I have seen the Louisiana coast’s oil-slicked marshes after the Deepwater Horizon…

Press Release February 6, 2013

House Representatives Introduce Bill To Protect Public Health in Appalachia

ACHE Act calls for scientific studies on health impacts of mountaintop removal mining

Satellite imagery of the massive Hobet mine, taken in 2013.
(NASA Earth Observatory)
Article January 3, 2013

The Poverty of Mountaintop Removal Mining

Associate Attorney Neil Gormley took a trip to West Virginia to visit partners and clients and to see the effects of mountaintop removal mining first-hand. As he explains, his visit prompted questions about the relationship between this destructive practice and regional poverty.

video December 19, 2012

Joan Mulhern Testifies before Congress on Mountaintop Removal

Senior Legislative Counsel Joan Mulhern testifies before the U.S. Congress about the devastating effects of mountaintop removal coal mining.

Article November 16, 2012

Patriot Agrees To End Mountaintop Removal Mining

Yesterday, one of the nation’s top coal companies, Patriot Coal, announced that it is getting out of the business of mountaintop removal mining. The decision comes out of a settlement with several Appalachian community groups—West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Sierra Club, represented by Appalachian Mountain Advocates—requiring Patriot to clean up toxic selenium…