Veronica Coptis


Veronica Coptis joined the CCJ staff in March 2013 as a Community Organizer and is now serving as the Executive Director. She grew up in western Greene County near the Bailey Mine Complex and currently lives in the eastern part of the county.

Before joining the CCJ staff, Veronica served on the Board of Directors for CCJ and organized with Mountain Watershed Association.  She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from West Virginia University. She enjoys hiking and geocaching at Ryerson State Park and other areas around Greene County with her husband and daughters.

Read more about Veronica in a New Yorker Magazine profile here.

She can be reached at veronica@centerforcoalfieldjustice.org

Posts by Veronica Coptis

Meet the New CCJ Team Members

By Veronica Coptis | May 20, 2022

This summer, CCJ will be hosting community meetings, educational events, festivals, and tabling around the community. Joining our team to help with our summer blitz are four fellows and a community organizer. Read more about each of them below:  Allison Evans (she/her) is our new organizer working primarily in Washington County, where she was born […]

Hundreds of Homes to be Undermined in Upcoming Mine Expansions: Donate Now to Support Coalfield Communities!

By Veronica Coptis | March 15, 2022

The effects of coal mining on communities and the environment is what originally led to the  formation of a coalition of grassroots groups and individuals called the “Tri-State Citizens Mining Network” in 1994 – the organization that is now CCJ. The people involved recognized the need to work together to build a strong voice in […]

CCJ Fellowship Program Application Open

By Veronica Coptis | March 10, 2022

A core focus of our work is to invest in community leaders because we believe people who live the daily impacts of fossil extraction are experts in their lived experiences and should be leading the transition to a healthier environment and thriving economy. We are excited to announce our 2022 Fellowship Program to invest in […]

Anti-RGGI House Bill 637 Is a Bad Deal for Pennsylvania

By Veronica Coptis | March 3, 2022

This piece was written by Veronica Coptis in response to a proposed amendment to House Bill 637. For context, see this article in the Indiana Gazette and this one in the PA Environment Digest blog.  I’m from coal country. Like other coal communities, we have been neglected by the rest of the country. I grew […]

You Can’t Solve the Climate Crisis without a Just Transition

By Veronica Coptis | February 18, 2022

The Center for Coalfield Justice is excited to announce a new blog series written by our staff: Examining Climate. For the first half of the year, CCJ staff members will be sharing their favorite (or least favorite) climate solution, looking at the benefits and the costs in the hope of sparking an honest conversation about how we […]

The climate crisis is here, and collective care is a solution

By Veronica Coptis | September 17, 2021

A few weekends ago, Hurricane Ida hit the Gulf Coast as a Category 4 and decimated communities, causing many people’s homes to be destroyed and millions to be without power and clean water and with limited access to internet/cell service. In Pennsylvania, many of us felt the impacts as Hurricane Ida downgraded to a tropical […]

Join Pennsylvanians to Ensure Our Communities can Thrive

By Veronica Coptis | March 19, 2021

During our monthly community meeting in February we discussed with our supporters about what is in the THRIVE agenda and what this means for our communities in Washington and Greene Counties. At the end of this month we are joining the Thriving PA Working Group* in hosting a statewide town hall to learn about the […]

Highlighting the Too-Often Invisible Labor of Mothers, Who Protect Us and Lead Us

By Veronica Coptis | March 4, 2021

This week two major publications were released that highlight public health impacts on people living next to oil and gas operations. The Environmental Health News released their investigation looking at how chemicals associated with oil and gas are present at levels 90 times higher than the average in families’ urine, including samples from children. The […]

Statement of Solidarity and Action From PA to the Gulf South

By Veronica Coptis | February 23, 2021

A changing climate leads to changes in the frequency, intensity, duration, and timing of extreme weather and climate events, and can result in unprecedented extreme weather and climate events.  —International Panel on Climate Change All of this is happening when we are still facing the ravages of a global pandemic, an extractive economy that continues […]

CCJ Response to ORVI’s Report: The Natural Gas Fracking Boom and Appalachia’s Lost Economic Decade

By Veronica Coptis | February 16, 2021

On February 10, the Ohio River Valley Institute released a damning new report detailing the devastating reality so many of us have experienced firsthand: the jobs and prosperity promised to our region by oil and gas companies resulted in nothing but broken promises and crushed dreams. Contrary to the predictions we all heard from the […]

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