Big Sandy | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Chapter: Big Sandy

If you want to find new ways to strengthen the economy, hold elected officials accountable, and be a part of a great community of folks, then we invite you to join the Big Sandy Chapter of KFTC. The Big Sandy chapter includes Floyd, Pike, Johnson, Martin, and Magoffin counties.

Our members have a vision for the Big Sandy area where the economy, democracy, people and land are healthy. To bring about this vision, we organize an annual day of workshops around sustainable agriculture, forestry, efficiency and renewable energy solutions called Growing Appalachia and offer mini-workshops throughout the year. We are also involved in protecting our land and water resources by raising awareness about water quality in Eastern Kentucky. We also work to educate the community on issues of economic justice and voter empowerment.

We hope you will join us at our next chapter meeting and share some of your ideas on how we can work together to bring about our vision of a healthier Kentucky!

Recent Activities

Despite challenges, Kentuckians make an impact in Frankfort

You’ve made an impact during the 2021 General Assembly. Some of these impacts have been on legislation – a key meeting with a legislator that changes the course of a bill, or a push of calls and tweets that makes the will of the people more visible and harder to ignore. We also set a goal this session to continue to build the power we need. So many impacts have been in our own communities, talking with neighbors and networks about the bills that impact us, and the work of our legislators. 

Eastern Kentucky members meet with Senator Turner

EKY members meeting with Sen. TurnerIn February, members of the Big Sandy Chapter and KFTC members in nearby counties met with Sen. Johnnie Turner to begin to build a relationship and urge his support for a few important issues. Participants included Kathy Curtis, Erik Fields, and John and Jean Rosenberg from Floyd County, Dayjha Hogg and Jacob Mack-Boll from Letcher County, Carl Shoupe from Harlan County, and Lisa Abbott from Madison County.

RECLAIM Act and AML pass the House as part of The Moving Forward Act

Kentucky will have a better chance at seeing its $400 million backlog of mine reclamation projects move forward thanks to legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on July 1.

Both the RECLAIM Act and reauthorization of the Abandoned Mine Lands Program were included in the INVEST in America Act (a.k.a The Moving Forward Act), a broad bill addressing the country’s infrastructure needs.

"I am overjoyed that Congress is finally helping to clean up abandoned mines and polluted waterways," said Joanne Hill, a retired nurse originally from Harlan County now living in Pulaski County. "For too long, Kentuckians have been pleading for action with no response.”

Blackjewel has environmental debts, bankruptcy court told

KFTC and allies have asked a federal bankruptcy judge to consider the environmental liabilities created by Blackjewel LLC and its affiliate mining companies in settling the company’s bankruptcy case.

Blackjewel – the company that gained notoriety last year when it shut down while owing its workers unpaid wages – has unreclaimed mines throughout eastern Kentucky, as well as in Virginia and West Virginia.

In filings earlier this year, Blackjewel assured the court that the majority of its permits and reclamation obligations had been assumed by other operations, which would be responsible for maintaining and reclaiming the sites.

However, there has been no activity to transfer 149 of the 213 permits the company holds in Kentucky, research has revealed. In the meantime, environmental violations continue to grow at many of the sites.

“We’re alarmed by the fact that so few permit transfers have even been initiated, let alone completed. We’re also alarmed by high, and increasing, number of permit violations at the non-transferred permits,” stated the letter written by Mary Cromer with the Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center, based in Whitesburg.

Big Sandy chapter hosts Disability Justice workshop

Members of the Big Sandy chapter – inspired by the disability justice workshop at the annual meeting – came together in Prestonsburg to organize a local Disability Justice Workshop.

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Chapter Feature:

Growing Appalachia

Growing Appalachia
 
Growing Appalachia is a day of workshops about small-scale farming, energy efficiency, and renewables. We hope to provide promising, sustainable ideas people can use to save/earn money or even start a small business! This conference open to anyone looking to broaden their skills. Learn more about the 2015 conference here.

Regular Meetings:

Prestonsburg Office
152 North Lake Drive
United States
Prestonsburg, KY 41653
Monthly chapter meeting

Join us on the 1st Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. for the Big Sandy chapter meeting.

Chapter meetings are a great time to plan local work, discuss local and state-wide work, meet new people, and much more. Everyone is welcome and invited to attend! Hope to see you there!

Chapter Organizer:

Jacob Mack-Boll
152 North Lake Drive
Prestonsburg, KY 41653
606-263-4982