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Page added on April 26, 2010

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The Dirty Secrets Of Coal

Production

Mountaintop removal mining is a form of mining that involves blasting the summit of mountains to reach the underlying coal. This process is common in the central Appalachian region, eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, and southwestern Virginia, and it takes a huge toll on the local environments, as well as peoples’ health. It does extensive damage to upper-elevation forests, and while coal companies are required to put the land back the way they found it by putting soil back onto the sites and planting trees, the soil that is put back on the site is so stripped of nutrients that it would take 2,000 years for the ecosystem to return to its natural state. When the mountaintops are blasted, it can send massive amounts of dust, rocks, coal and sand into the local communities, polluting their air. Toxic minerals also end up dumped in nearby streams, infesting the water supply and harming fish and other organisms. And not to mention the mountains themselves, which can hardly be called mountains when they’re stripped of their peaks.

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