West Virginia has one of the largest coal reserves in the world. Over the last few decades, underground coal mining has largely been replaced by Mountaintop Removal, a practice that automates coal extraction and requires a greatly reduced workforce. Mountaintop Removal erases ecosystems, sends deadly particulate matter into the air and leaks toxic chemicals into local waterways and drinking water supplies. The practice of Mountaintop Removal has resulted in a large scale public health crisis in Appalachian communities and widespread and irreversible environmental contamination.


Coal Industry PR Campaigns And Politicians Claim That MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL Brings Employment And Prosperity To Appalachian Communities. 

Appalachian people Have A Different Story To Tell.

The Appalachian Mountaintop Patrol (AMP) is an environmental watchdog and documentary film making initiative that works with West Virginia coal field residents to use video, drones and environmental sensors to tell stories about how Mountaintop Removal impacts life in Appalachia.  AMP is a coalition of grassroots activists, artists, former coal industry workers and local community members collectively documenting the complex impacts of energy extraction, recording Mountaintop Removal site regulatory violations and chronicling the unique cultural and natural heritage of Appalachia before it disappears. 

We engage a wide network of stakeholders in West Virginia by offering training in video production, recording interviews with impacted community members, and through public screenings of AMP videos at community meetings. 

AMP also offers free drone video documentation services above Boone and Raleigh County homes to raise local awareness about the true scale of Mountaintop Removal mine sites, slurry ponds and coal processing operations and their proximity to residences, schools, businesses. 

The Appalachian Mountaintop Patrol was founded by artist Laura Chipley in 2015 in collaboration with Coal River Mountain Watch, Christians for the Mountains, the Kanawha Forest Coalition and Radical Actions for Mountain People’s Survival (RAMPS)

AMP is also made possible by the generous support of A Blade of Grass and by The Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science.