We provide community lawyering services free of charge to groups throughout Central Appalachia that are organizing to demand a clean, safe, and healthy environment.  

Over the past century, the coal industry made decisions around land-use and resource extraction without proper consideration for the rights and wellbeing of the communities directly impacted by those decisions. We work to ensure that the individuals, families, and communities most directly affected by decision-makers have agency and access to justice.

Representing communities fighting for environmental justice is critical in a region that continues to bear the externalized costs of extractive industries, leaving countless communities to clean up the mess coal companies left behind. While these cases may look different as time goes on (e.g., a current shift towards bankruptcy and infrastructure cases for our environmental work), they require the same level of community-driven, environmental justice-oriented litigation we provide.

Deputy Director and Environmental Attorney Mary Cromer with Nina McCoy, Chair of the Martin County Concerned Citizens

Our Approach 

  • We work closely with community groups organizing around environmental justice issues and provide capacity to support organizing work.
  • We ensure that the decision-makers that are supposed to protect the health and environment of the communities we serve are hearing our clients’ voices.  
  • We advocate for our clients’ abilities to meaningfully and effectively participate in decisions affecting their communities and the environmental issues they face.
  • We ensure that the communities and families we serve have access to all public information related to the environmental issues they face.