Mountaintop Removal

Sources

EFFECTS

There are advantages and disadvantages to coal mining. The advantages, it is argued, that it is safer for the miners to surface mine and that using coal is a clean source of energy*. However, mountaintop removal seems to generate more disadvantages in that it is severely detrimental to the environment and the communities that surround the mining sites.

* More than 1,000 streams have been filled and over 300,000 acres of mountains have been surface mined in West Virginia alone.

* Foundations to nearby homes are damaged in the blasting at a mining site.

* Mining dries up an average of 100 wells a year and contaminates several others.

* Species of birds, insects and fish are on the decline in these forests and streams due to the deforestation and water pollution.

* Sludge dams hold the toxic slurry released from the mining site and are notoriously leaky. In 2000, there was a sludge dam breach in Martin County, KY sending 300 million gallons of toxic sludge into tributaries of the Big Sandy, a tributary of the Ohio River.

Watch the video below to see the effects MTR has had on the land near Kayford Mountain, where Larry Gibson lives.