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World of Change: Mountaintop Mining, West Virginia

Below the densely forested slopes of the Appalachian Mountains in southern West Virginia is a layer cake of thin coal seams. To uncover this coal profitably, mining companies engineer large—sometimes very large—surface mines. This time-series of images of a surface mine in Boone County, West Virginia, illustrates why this controversial mining method is also called “mountaintop removal.”

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Mapping mountaintop coal mining's yearly spread in Appalachia

Jul 25, 2018· Mountaintop mining is a form of surface coal mining in which coal companies clear the forest from a hilltop, then use explosives and heavy machinery to blast

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Kentucky was devastated for decades by mountaintop removal

Feb 13, 2020· For 25 years, he oversaw the process that may represent humans’ best attempt to date at total annihilation of land: strip-mining and mountaintop-removal mining of coal.

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Mountaintop Removal 101 > Appalachian Voices

A 2016 study by Duke University researchers published in the journal, Environmental Science and Technology, found that some 40 years of mountaintop coal mining have made parts of Central Appalachia 40% flatter than they were before excavation. The researchers found that the mines and valley fills could range anywhere from 10 to 200 meters deep. Across the region, the average slope of

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Basic Information about Surface Coal Mining in Appalachia

In some cases underground mining also produces enough spoil to require the construction of valley fills. Mountaintop and area mining allows for almost complete recovery of coal seams, and reduces the number of workers required to a fraction of what conventional methods require but produces large volumes of excess spoil disposal needs.

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Mountaintop Mining Office of Surface Mining

Surface coal mining in the Appalachian coalfield states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia is conducted by a variety of mining methods and in different topographic settings. "Mountaintop mining" considers all types of surface coal mining (mountaintop removal, contour, area, etc.) in the steep terrain of the central Appalachian coalfields.

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What Is Mountaintop Removal Mining? Earthjustice

Jun 04, 2010· Mountaintop removal coal mining, often described as "strip mining on steroids," is an extremely destructive form of mining that is devastating Appalachia. In the past few decades, over 2,000 miles of streams and headwaters that provide drinking water for millions of Americans have been permanently buried and destroyed. An area the size of Delaware has been flattened. Local coal field

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10 Different Types of Mining Operations and Mines

Mountaintop removal mining refers to any method of surface coal mining whereby a mountaintop or ridgeline is destroyed, regardless of whether the mined area is going to be returned to what is known as its “approximate original contour.” There are different methods of mountaintop removal coal mining, including the box-cut method, steep-slope

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Mining the Mountains Science Smithsonian Magazine

Jan 01, 2009· Mountaintop mining waste contains stone compounds that otherwise remain sealed up in coal and rock. Rainwater falling on a valley fill becomes enriched with heavy metals such as

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West Virginia Mountaintop Removal: How Coal Mines Have

When mining companies level West Virginia mountains to get at the coal beneath, whole towns disappear. When a Michigan power plant burns coal to make electricity, it triggers asthma attacks among children living nearby. When coal ash blows onto a

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What is mountaintop removal coal mining? iLoveMountains.org

Mountaintop removal is a relatively new type of coal mining that began in Appalachia in the 1970s as an extension of conventional strip mining techniques. Primarily, mountaintop removal is occurring in West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee. Coal companies in Appalachia are increasingly using this method because it allows for almost complete recovery of coal seams

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Environmental consequences of mountaintop coal mining

Jan 08, 2010· Mountaintop mining is a widespread practice in eastern Kentucky, West Virginia and southwestern Virginia. It involves removing forests, clearing topsoil and using explosives to expose buried coal. Excess rock is pushed into nearby valleys, disturbing habitats and

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How the US Government’s Deregulation of Mountaintop

Dec 10, 2018· The private wells tested near Coal Mountain, Wyoming County, West Virginia, all had alarmingly high levels of heavy metals consistent with coal mining pollution, such as iron and manganese, that

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BankTrack Mountain top removal coal mining

Mountain top removal (MTR) mining is a form of strip mining in which coal companies use explosives to blast as much as 800 to 1,000 feet off the tops of mountains order to reach the coal seams that lie underneath.

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Bringing Down the Mountains: The Impact of Mountaintop

Oct 12, 2007· Coal is West Virginia’s bread and butter. For more than a century, West Virginia has answered the energy call of the nation—and the world—by mining and exporting its coal. In 2004, West Virginia’s coal industry provided almost forty thousand stone directly related to coal, and it contributed $3.5 billion to the state’s gross annual

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19 Best Mountain Top Removal images Coal mining, How to

Jan 29, 2019 Explore britany239's board "Mountain Top Removal" on Pinterest. See more ideas about Coal mining, How to remove and Appalachian mountains.

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Coal Mining Threat livingstonelandowners.net

Mountain top coal mining is extremely invasive, stripping the soil, vegetation and rock from thousands of hectares of land, dumping the waste rock into the valleys, leaching toxins into natural waterways and destroying or severely disrupting native wildlife.

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The Land of Mountaintop Removal YouTube

Aug 06, 2013· Over five hundred mountains in West Virginia have been destroyed because of new mining techniques used by coal companies in the Appalachians. Coal River Mountain Duration: 12:20. Newsy

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Blowing Up Mountains: Destroying the Environment for Coal

Jul 03, 2012· All this devastation, just to extract some coal. We went to West Virginia to investigate mountain-top removal -- which a way of extracting coal from deposits under mountains.

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Coal Controversy In Appalachia NASA

Surface mining at these scales is more economical for coal companies, safer for miners, and, coal operators say, essential for mining the thin seams of lower-sulfur coal more valuable in today’s market. With dynamite and immense machines, surface mines can produce more than two to three times as much coal per miner as underground mines can.

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Basic Information about Surface Coal Mining in Appalachia

Basics of mountaintop mining. As noted in EPA's 2011 report The Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central Appalachian Coalfields, mountaintop mines and valley fills lead directly to five principal alterations of stream ecosystems:. springs and ephemeral, intermittent and perennial streams are permanently lost with the removal of the mountain

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Feds ban mountaintop mining in Tennessee

Dec 07, 2016· Mountaintop removal is a form of surface coal mining in which the top of a mountain is blasted away so workers can reach coal seams. The rubble is then dumped into adjacent valleys.

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These Striking Photos Will Change the Way You Look at Coal

A former Massey-run mountaintop removal mining site in West Virginia. The tiny patch of grass at the top of the mountain is a cemetery to which families have fought to have regular, safe access.

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