The effects of mountaintop removal mining on the appalachian mountains
Photo by Matt Wasson More recently, in February,a coal slurry spill at a processing facility in Kanawha County, West Virginia, released more thangallons of toxic material into Fields Creekblackening the water for roughly six miles and polluting the downstream Kanawha River.
The authors of the study point to the loss of suitable habitat due to valley fills and mining pollution as an explanation. The coal industry has maintained a tight grip on Appalachia for decades, going back to the days of union-busting, often using violence.
Yale Environment In areas of West Virginia where mountaintop removal mining takes place, as much as 10 percent of the landscape has been leveled. The researchers also used an earlier collection data, covering the mids throughto come up with the year total.
Relationship between mountaintop removal and tailings
Last year, the Trump administration ordered government researchers to stop work on an independent evaluation of potential health effects from mountaintop removal coal mining. Those areas have already been mined out. Concerns About Human Health and Climate Coal production across the United States slid in recent years as aging coal-fired plants were shut down and replaced by new ones burning cheaper natural gas and as state and federal policies promoted cleaner power sources. For communities in the Appalachia region, in the eastern United States, this is just the latest headline detailing public and environmental health risks in what has been a fast-flowing torrent since the mids, when the use of MTR took off in the region. Geologists have predicted that as coal companies mine the thickest and shallowest layers of coal, what's left will produce more waste rock, making surface mining more expensive, the authors wrote. Between and , explosives and mining equipment chewed up more than 1, square miles in pursuit of coal buried in the mountains in West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. And finally, we are working to educate our nation's lawmakers on the serious public health threats of this extremely destructive mining practice. It also showed that morbidity and mortality rates in the Appalachia MTR areas for many diseases including cancer exceed those in the rest of the US. The impacts on communities of blowing up mountains and dumping the rubble into streams are profound. Communities near mountaintop removal sites are losing population as people move away in order to protect the health and safety of their families. As a result, water downstream of mountaintop removal mines has significantly higher levels of sulfate and selenium, and increases in electrical conductivity , a measure of heavy metals. What did you think about that? When you compare MTR with underground mining, the amount of coal that is produced per job is much higher at the mountaintop site.
Alpha Natural Resources, one of the leading producers of metallurgical coal in the U. Heart defects were the most common — the risk for these was percent higher in mining areas.
This proposed legislation would have been the only legislation of its kind in the United States; however, the bill was defeated.
Advocates[ edit ] Advocates of MTR claim that once the areas are reclaimed as mandated by law, the area can provide flat land suitable for many uses in a region where flat land is at a premium.
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