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Diane Publishing Books
Mountaintop Mining: Background on Current Controversies
Claudia Copeland (au)
Mountaintop removal mining involves removing the top of a mountain in order to recover the coal seams contained there. This practice occurs in six Appalachian states (Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.). It creates an immense quantity of excess spoil (dirt and rock that previously composed the mountaintop), which is typically placed in valley fills on the sides of the former mountains, burying streams that flow through the valleys. Mountaintop mining is regulated under several laws, including the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA). Critics say that stream water quality and the aquatic and wildlife habitat that streams support are destroyed by tons of rocks and dirt. The mining industry argues that mountaintop mining is essential to conducting surface coal mining in the Appalachian region and that it would not be economically feasible there if operators were barred from using valleys for the disposal of mining overburden. This report provides background on regulatory requirements, controversies and legal challenges to mountaintop mining, and recent Admin. actions. and on Congressional interest in these issues. This is a print on demand report.
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