ASF Response to January 16th, 2020 Dominion Post Article

In response to a recent article that appeared in the Dominion Post on January 16, 2020, the Appalachian Stewardship Foundation (ASF) would like to correct several inaccuracies.

ASF is an independent 501(c)3 grantmaking foundation.  ASF activities are funded in the amount of $500,000 per year through 2021, and $300,000 thereafter by the terms of a settlement agreement of a 2004 legal challenge to the air quality permit of Longview Power, LLC.  The three environmental groups challenging the permit — Trout Unlimited, Sierra Club, and National Parks Conservation Association – entered into the settlement, as did Longview Power, LLC.  All parties at the table signed and accepted the terms of legal settlement agreement.

The environmental result of that challenge process was a cleaner plant: lower SO2 (sulfur dioxide), NOx (mono-nitrogen oxides) and particulate emissions, the first mercury monitor on a coal burning plant.  That has led to less pollution within the heavily populated area immediately area surrounding the plant, West Virginia as a whole and across its neighboring states.

The other outcome of the legal permit challenge process was the funding by Longview Power, LLC of the Appalachian Stewardship Foundation, with an independent governing structure of one voluntary Board representative each to be appointed from the three environmental groups as well as one non-voting Board representative each from Longview and AMD Reclamation.  The funds would be used to:

  • Reduce greenhouse gases,
  • Restore streams and fisheries,
  • Promote public awareness, and
  • Create innovative carbon-reduction research and projects, including programs directed at the reduction, offset, sequestration, mitigation and storage of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

The geographical range of the foundations’ activities includes West Virginia, parts of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.  Since its first granting round in 2012, ASF has received 4 million dollars from Longview Power and approved grants totaling over 2.2 million to groups across West Virginia and Virginia through our twice annual grant distribution process.  A description of that grant process and a complete list of those grants awarded to date is available on the ASF website at    The statement that ASF has paid $1.2 million to lawyers, individually or collectively, is false. ASF has not paid legal fees to any lawyer.

As noted, the terms of the legal settlement provide for 500,000 annually for the first ten years ASF operates, and then a drop down to 300,000 annually thereafter, for the life of the Longview plant.  ASF has set aside a portion of its annual funding to date to establish an endowment fund to mitigate against that 11th year drop.  This fiscally responsible set aside, now totaling just under 1.6 million, will ensure that ASF is able to continue granting at its current levels even after funding from Longview decreases, and will ensure that the environmental work ASF supports will continue into the future.

ASF has not, nor will it, take a position on the expansion of generating capacity at Longview.  Monies from Longview do not pass through any other groups before arriving at ASF.  In addition, ASF is not funded through tax dollars or public monies of any sort.

We are happy to have the opportunity to share the above information.

Larry Harris, PhD, Chairman of the Board, Appalachian Stewardship Foundation



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