Mountaintop Removal Mining

Mountaintop coal mining is a surface mining practice involving the removal of mountaintops to expose coal seams, and disposal of the associated mining overburden in adjacent valleys ("valley fills," which occur in steep terrain where there are limited disposal alternatives). Mountaintop coal mining operations are concentrated in eastern Kentucky, southern West Virginia, western Virginia, and scattered areas of eastern Tennessee. In 1998, the U.S. Department of Energy estimated that 28.5 billion tons of high quality coal remain in the Appalachia coal mining region. Restricting mountaintop mining to small watersheds could substantially impact the amount of extraction that takes place.
Environmental effects include an increase of minerals in the water (leading to less diverse and more pollutant-tolerant species), reduced tree growth, fragmented forests, damaged habitats and others. (Source: EPA / Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Standing room only Senate hearing on MTR

Thursday link drop: Climate change

Obama tightens rules for mountaintop removal mining

Are you connected to mountaintop coal?

EPA greenlights the 'Appalachian Apocalypse'

Google Earth stops mountaintop removal in Appalachia

April Fools: Tearing down mountains for coal

Coal: Jobs should not trump mountains

End o' the week links: Energy 3/13/2009

Ashley Judd chats about mountaintop removal mining

Ashley Judd campaigns against mountaintop removal mining