All photos copyright Lauren Peery.
Jason Von Kundra
From September 25th through the 27th members of the Environmental Action Group (EAG) will be participating in Appalachia Rising, a mass mobilization in Washington D.C. to end mountaintop removal (MTR), a devastating form of coal production. Unlike traditional mining that extracts coal from underground, mountaintop removal does exactly what its na
me implies- the tops of mountains are blown off in order to reach the seams of coal underneath. The resulting debris is then pushed into the adjacent valleys, completely burying the streams and rivers located there. The result are enormous areas throughout Appalachia that are almost completely devoid of life. Not only is mountaintop removal an environmental catastrophe, it's also a violation of human rights because it destroys the homelands of coalfield residents and damages their health and lifespans through toxic substances that contaminate their air and water. To date more than 500 mountains in Appalachia have been destroyed, over 2000 miles of streams and rivers have been buried, and an estimated area in excess of 1 million acres has been lies in ruin. The goal of Appalachia Rising is to demand a permanent end to mountaintop removal and a just transition to a clean energy economy in Appalachia.
Mountaintop Removal Site near Appalachia, Virginia. Five EAG members visited this site in Spring 2010. Photo by Christi Kruse