Give Gifts Top Banner

Home » Issues » Can Animals Save Us? » Public Pressure Saves 2,200 Mountain Acres

Get a FREE Issue. Yes! I want to try YES! Magazine

Nonprofit. Independent. Subscriber-supported. DONATE. How you can support our work.

YES! by Email
Join over 78,000 others already signed up for FREE YES! news.

The YES! ChicoBag(R). Full-size tote that fits in your pocket!


Public Pressure Saves 2,200 Mountain Acres

An Appalachian victory in the battle against mountaintop mining.
Document Actions

Sandra Diaz photo courtesy of Appalachian Voices

“The science is overwhelming in showing the detrimental impacts on the water and the community health impacts,” says Sandra Diaz of Appalachian Voices.

Photo courtesy of Appalachian Voices.

One of the most environmentally damaging mining practices may be on the way out.

In January 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency blocked a proposed West Virginia mining project that would have been among the biggest mountaintop removals in Appalachia. Mountaintop removal is a method of mining that involves blasting the tops off mountains to excavate coal.

The EPA used its authority under the Clean Water Act to veto a permit for Arch Coal’s Spruce No. 1 Mine to dispose of coal-mine waste in nearby streams.

Had it been allowed to move forward, the project would have destroyed more than 2,200 mountain acres, dumping more than 110 million cubic yards of coal-mine waste into more than six miles of adjacent streams. The pollution would have been carried downstream.

“The science is overwhelming in showing the detrimental impacts on the water and the community health impacts,” says Sandra Diaz of Appalachian Voices, an activist group working to end mountaintop removal. While this decision represents a victory in the fight to protect Appalachia’s communities, wildlife, and forestland, mountaintop removal persists. Already 500 mountains have been blasted, and more than 2,000 miles of stream buried.

Activist organizations have cultivated a nationwide movement against mountaintop removal by pushing legislation and raising awareness of the method’s harmful effects. The EPA received over 50,000 public comments about Spruce Mine. 

Visit for more information.


A Dutch parliamentary ­committee heard complaints that Shell ignored human rights abuses and understated its responsibility for oil spills in Nigeria. The hearing also considered what authority Dutch courts should have over multinationals.

Rebecca LeisherRebecca Leisher wrote this article for Can Animals Save Us?, the Spring 2011 issue of YES! Magazine. Rebecca is an online editorial intern at YES!







Email Signup
Can Animals Save Us?
Comment on this article

How to add a commentCommenting Policy

comments powered by Disqus

You won’t see any commercial ads in YES!, in print or on this website.
That means, we rely on support from our readers.

||   SUBSCRIBE    ||   GIVE A GIFT   ||   DONATE   ||
Independent. Nonprofit. Subscriber-supported.

Issue Footer

Personal tools