Charleston, WV — On February 10, 2009, the West Virginia Surface Mine Board heard arguments from the Sierra Club and Coal River Mountain Watch (CRMW) seeking the reversal of permits to mine the great Coal River mountain. On March 16, the decision of the Surface Mine Board was made public: the permit appeal was squashed and the SMB voted 5 to 1 to allow the destruction of Coal River mountain.
Everyday in West Virginia, over 3 million pounds of explosives are used to blow off the tops of Appalachian mountain peaks — all in persuit of coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel. The aftermath of this blast – a massive cloud of diesel smoke and silica dust – blanketed the community of Dorothy, WV, sitting just below. In the midst of these Appalachian mountain communities, some of the largest earth moving equipment operates, obliterating the oldest mountains in the world, the most bio-diverse hardwood forests, black bear and bob white habitat; modern day coal mining is poisoning the abundance of pure water and clean air that the Appalachian mountains produce.