Mountaintop Removal Mining

gloss_mountaintop_0916_0
 
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)

Appalachia flattened by as much as 40 percent by mining practices

Ashley Judd won't challenge Mitch McConnell's Senate seat

Kids speak out against mountaintop removal

Ashley Judd mulling possible Senate run

7 ways humans are damaging the planet

Appalachia offers climate refuge, study finds

Potomac tops list of 'endangered rivers'

Photos: Historic coal town faces modern-day threat

Al Gore compares climate deniers to racists

Debt ceiling proposals not so eco-friendly

Kennedy: Coal companies subvert democracy

After mountaintops are stripped bare, only graves remain

SPONSORED