Mountaintop Removal



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.