Who We Are: The Mountaintop Removal (MTR) Working Group addresses the various issues surrounding mountaintop removal coal mining, particularly in Appalachia. The group coordinates action with local groups, based on their experience “on the ground.” Serious water pollution problems from coal runoff and chemicals used in the washing process, along with small particulate air emissions, are having very disturbing effects on the health of the communities living near the many MTR sites in the region. Local groups have asked us to garner Congressional support from our representatives for the Appalachian Community Health Emergency Act (ACHE Act), introduced in the House by John Yarmuth (D-KY) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY).
What We Do: Together with several other religious communities led by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, the Rochester Franciscans are co-filers of shareholder resolutions calling for local mining companies to be responsible for their impact on the region’s water. A small number of shares were purchased by religious communities specifically for the purpose of being eligible to file such resolutions. This group has been actively doing so for several years. This year the resolution gained the support of 24.53% of the shareholders, a substantial accomplishment.