Valley Watch history… Valley Watch incorporated as a 501 (C)(3) not-for-profit corporation in Indiana in 1981. At that time, the lower Ohio River Valley was inundated with proposals for new and old technology energy plants including nuclear, conventional coal plants and what was then known as “synfuel” plants.
Then, as now, Valley Watch’s mission was the protection of public health first and protection of the environment a close second.
Valley Watch has provided technical and tactical assistance to groups and individuals who are coping with new facilities and health issues. We have offered our services for free and have done so, until recently, with an all-volunteer staff. We also have chosen our own issues in which to get involved. We have spoken at more than 1,500 public meetings and hearings. We have filed comments on important regulations pertaining to health and the environment and we have brought judicial action when we felt it was necessary.
Our main tactic has been education of the public on current issues. We have maintained a speaker’s bureau and have availed ourselves to the media. Our successes have included stopping three heavily subsidized synthetic fuel plants, three hazardous waste incinerators, several coal fired power plants, a nuclear waste site and a nuclear plant.
We have been successful in working in coalitions, sometimes taking the lead and sometimes not.
For twenty-five years, Valley Watch has diligently fought to keep additional polluting industry out of this region.
As the centuries changed and a new government took charge in Washington, it was apparent that Valley Watch needed to grow. Of late, we are trying to help all people who are concerned with our core issues regardless of where they are from.
Coal is the single largest polluter in this region although Southwestern Indiana and Western Kentucky have many large polluters. (See SW IN Factsheet on our Library page.) Plastics, primary and secondary metal, and refineries and chemicals are all manufactured in this region but it is also the center of the largest concentration of coal fired power plants in the world. Together those plants have made this region a toxic hot spot.
Coal is an environmental and health disaster when it is mined, burned and when its waste is disposed. Recognizing that, Valley Watch in conjunction with the California based, Endangered Species Project, have undertaken the Midwest Coal Campaign, designed to challenge coal at every level, new and old. Valley Watch is working closely with both regional and national groups to achieve our goals for coal. We have linked a number of those groups in “Links of Interest.”