Maria Gunnoe’s fight to end mountain top removal coal mining began in 2000, when a huge mining project got started on the ridge behind her home in Boone County, West Virginia. She was awarded the Goldman Prize in 2009, but her campaign to protect her home and community from the coal industry continue to this day.
In early-January, Gunnoe celebrated a vicotry as a settlement was announced between Patriot Coal and the Sierra Club. As part of the settlement, Patriot has agreed to suspend plans for future mining operations at the Jupiter-Callisto Mine in Boone County; the same mine that has threatened Gunnoe’s home for years. The settlement also stipulates that Patriot must clean-up its selenium waste water pollution by building and operating treatment facilities at 43 of its sites.