News

This guy is using his drone to fight a West Virginia coal mining company’s toxic lake

September 27, 2017, 8:06pm

Junior Walk is a 27-year-old environmental activist based out of Eunice, West Virginia, a small community in the Coal River Valley. For years now, he’s been waging a war against coal mining companies in the area. But mining isn’t his only concern — the other issue lies a bit deeper.

By flying his drone over mines, he tries to look for violations. Then, he anonymously submits evidence of those violations to West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection in the hopes that companies will be forced to pay fines and slow down their work.

But Walk also worries about a structure that lies just 3 miles from his home — the Brushy Fork impoundment, a human-made “lake” filled with 8 billion gallons of coal waste water.

This segment originally aired Sept. 27, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.