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Appalachia threatened by mountaintop removal coal mining

Coal News - Published on Wed, 20 Feb 2019

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Citizen Truth reported that the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, showed the world what horrible tragedies can occur when people’s water sources aren’t protected and properly maintained, and although public outcry has led to the situation in Flint being greatly improved, water quality is still a massive public health issue there and in many other American cities. This problem is typically a result of old pipes made out of toxic metals or improper water treatment practices, but in Appalachia one of America’s most isolated and impoverished areas, large corporate mining interests are actively poisoning the water.

Videos of water combustion as a result of contamination from fracking and other forms of natural gas extraction exist, but less known and possibly even more terrifying, is the effect mountaintop removal coal mining has on people’s water supply. Most people in Appalachia live in isolated rural areas, and as a result use wells for water as opposed to a public water source. When contaminants from mountaintop removal coal mining enter the water table, the result can be disastrous for nearby residents.

The sludge and contaminated sediment that is present in this water is disgusting and ugly, leaving hideous orange and brown stains in showers, sinks and washing machines. But its effects are far worse than its horrible appearance indicates. This contamination contains many highly toxic chemicals, which pose a grave risk to both humans and the environment. Water affected by mountaintop removal coal mining is not only undrinkable, it’s unusable for pretty much anything due to its toxic content and capacity to permanently stain nearly every material.

The sheer impact of the problem can be easily observed and is truly alarming. According to a study conducted by the US Geological Survey and researchers from Duke University, streams near mountaintop removal mining operations “have less than half as many fish species and about a third as many fish as non-impacted streams.”

Further, a report from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies stated that mountaintop removal coal mining is the cause of more than 1000 deaths every year.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Wed, 20 Feb 2019
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