Quick Answer: What are the environmental concerns in the Appalachian area from coal mining?

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.

Why is coal mining bad in the Appalachians?

Coal surface mining has heavily altered the hydrological cycle and landscape of the Appalachia causing environmental degradation and contributing to ecosystem damages beyond repair. Surface coal mining in the Appalachian has contributed to the destruction of over 500 mountain tops.

What are some environmental concerns with coal mines?

There are significant environmental impacts associated with coal mining and use. It could require the removal of massive amounts of top soil, leading to erosion, loss of habitat and pollution. Coal mining causes acid mine drainage, which causes heavy metals to dissolve and seep into ground and surface water.

What is the major negative impact of mountaintop removal mining in the Appalachian highlands?

Water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that mountaintop removal “valley fills” are responsible for burying more than 2,000 miles of vital Appalachian headwater streams, and poisoning many more.

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How is coal mining in Appalachia?

Coal is mined in Appalachia by both surface and underground mining techniques. Surface coal mining methods in the steep terrain of the central Appalachian coalfields include mountaintop removal, contour, area and highwall mining.

Why is the Appalachian region so poor?

One of the main poverty issues of Appalachia stems from the fact that the employed population of these states make significantly lower amounts of money than the rest of the US. In 2014, the per capita income of the Appalachian region of Kentucky was only $30,308 while the entire US was at $46,049.

Why is Appalachia so bad?

Thus, though the area has a wealth of natural resources, its inhabitants are often poor. In addition, decreased levels of education and a lack of public infrastructure (such as highways, developed cities, businesses, and medical services) has perpetuated the region’s poor economic standing.

How does coal pollute the environment?

Several principal emissions result from coal combustion: Sulfur dioxide (SO2), which contributes to acid rain and respiratory illnesses. Nitrogen oxides (NOx), which contribute to smog and respiratory illnesses. Particulates, which contribute to smog, haze, and respiratory illnesses and lung disease.

Does coal mining hurt the environment?

Coal mining harms land, surface waters, groundwater and even our air. 4 Impacts to the land from mining cause drastic changes in the local area. Damage to plants, animals and humans occurs from the destruction and removal of habitat and environ- mental contamination.

What are the problems of mining to the environment?

The extraction of minerals from nature often creates imbalances, which adversely affect the environment. The key environmental impacts of mining are on wildlife and fishery habitats, the water balance, local climates & the pattern of rainfall,sedimentation, the depletion of forests and the disruption of the ecology.

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What are the environmental consequences of mountaintop removal?

Contaminants from mountaintop removal even poison the drinking water of downstream communities. And this form of mining makes a twofold contribution to climate change: The forests destroyed in the process no longer store carbon, and the burning of the coal that’s mined releases carbon into the atmosphere.

What are 3 environmental problems caused by open pit mining?

However, mining processes can cause various environmental problems, including deforestation, soil erosion, destruction of the natural landscape, landslides, water-level reduction and surface water depletion through dewatering, as well as water and soil pollution from mining waste and tailing dust [3–7].

What environmental problems are caused by the practice of mountaintop removal mining?

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.