Mountaintop Removal And Valley Filling

2189 Words9 Pages
Mountaintop removal and valley filling is the long time process of mining for coal, primarily in southern Appalachia. In mountaintop removal the tops of mountains are removed to expose the layer of coal. The earth that is removed from the mountaintop is then disposed in nearby valleys. Following the removal of the coal from the mountain, the coal is “washed”; the liquid that is left over after cleaning the coal is called coal slurry. This process of reshaping mountains and valleys has dangerous and everlasting effects on the ecology and aesthetic value of the mountain. Citizens in rural Appalachia typically rely on water from small streams in order to have a clean water supply for their families. Due to the misshapen landscape caused by mountaintop removal and runoff from coal slurries, communities surrounding mountaintop removal sites and valley fill typically experience contaminated water. Even though mountaintop removal coal mining is an effective way to remove the entire amount of coal from a mountain, mountain top removal should be strictly regulated by the government because the water quality of persons in areas surrounding removal sites are being demolished and flow rates of streams and stream ecosystems are being disturbed due to the nature of mountain top removal and valley filling. To begin, it is important to discuss the rights water uses have in areas surrounding mountain top removal sites as well as the trade-offs water uses make in dealing with large coal
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