Is mountaintop removal mining still happening?

Despite an ongoing citizen movement to end the destruction, and despite the decline in coal, it’s still happening. The massive amounts of dirt and rubble, what the coal industry calls “overburden,” is dumped into adjacent valleys, burying headwater streams.

What are the dangers of strip mining and mountaintop removal?

The air and water pollution caused by this mining practice, which involves deforesting and tearing off mountaintops to get at the coal, is leading to increases in cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, pulmonary disease, and birth defects, his research shows.

Is strip mining the same as mountaintop removal?

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.

Has a mountain ever been removed?

More than 500 mountains in the US have been destroyed by this process, resulting in the burial of 3,200 km (2,000 mi) of streams. Mountaintop removal has been practiced since the 1960s.

Why mountaintop removal is bad?

This destructive practice, known as mountaintop-removal mining, sends carcinogenic toxins like silica into the air, affecting communities for miles around. It also destroys beautiful, biodiverse forests and wildlife habitat, increases the risk of flooding, and wipes out entire communities.

How common is mountaintop removal mining?

Roughly 45% of central Appalachian coal is from strip mining, and almost 100% of that is mountaintop removal.

Is mountaintop removal expensive?

These machines can cost up to $100 million, but are favored by coal companies because they displace the need for hundreds of miners.

Why is strip mining bad?

Strip mining presents many different problems, including the destruction of ecosystems through removal of vegetation and dumping into streams (such as in mountaintop removal mining), problems with blasting damage and noise pollution, flooding, the extreme hazards presented by the impoundment of wastes generated from …

Why is mountaintop removal bad?

Can mountains be flattened?

Researchers from Chang’an University in China have warned that dozens of mountains have already been flattened – and this is causing air and water pollution, soil erosion and flooding. The soil and rock is then used to fill in valleys, and overall this has so far created hundreds of square kilometres of flat terrain.

How does mountaintop removal affect humans?

Since 2007, peer-reviewed studies by researchers from more than a dozen universities have concluded that mountaintop removal coal mining contributes to significantly higher rates of birth defects, cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases among individuals living in the region where it occurs.

How does mountaintop removal affect animals?

Water birds and mammals eat poisoned fish and die themselves, or else they lose the ability to reproduce. Contaminants from mountaintop removal even poison the drinking water of downstream communities. Their water is now unusable because of contamination caused by mountaintop removal.

When did they start using mountaintop removal mining?

Increased demand for coal in the United States, sparked by the 1973 and 1979 petroleum crises, created incentives for a more economical form of coal mining than the traditional underground mining methods involving hundreds of workers, triggering the first widespread use of MTR.

How does mountaintop removal of coal seams work?

That’s how mountaintop-removal mining works—blowing up the top few hundred feet of mountain to expose coal seams.

Where are the mountaintop removal sites in Kentucky?

Mountaintop removal site. Mountaintop removal site in Pike County, Kentucky. Mountaintop removal mining (MTR), also known as mountaintop mining (MTM), is a form of surface mining at the summit or summit ridge of a mountain. Coal seams are extracted from a mountain by removing the land, or overburden, above the seams.

How is mountaintop removal done in the Appalachian Mountains?

This method of coal mining is conducted in the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern United States. Explosives are used to remove up to 400 vertical feet (120 m) of mountain to expose underlying coal seams. Excess rock and soil is dumped into nearby valleys, in what are called “holler fills” (“hollow fills”)…