iLoveMountains.org is the product of 7 local, state, and regional organizations across Appalachia that are working together to end mountaintop removal and create a prosperous future for the region.
What is Mountaintop Removal?
Mountaintop removal is a relatively new type of coal mining that began in Appalachia in the 1970s as an extension of conventional strip mining techniques. Primarily, mountaintop removal is occurring in West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee. Coal companies in Appalachia are increasingly using this method because it allows for almost complete recovery of coal seams while reducing the number of workers required to a fraction of what conventional methods require.
The US Environmental Protection Agency defines mountaintop removal as follows:
“Mountaintop removal/valley fill is a mining practice where the tops of mountains are removed, exposing the seams of coal. Mountaintop removal can involve removing 500 feet or more of the summit to get at buried seams of coal. The earth from the mountaintop is then dumped in the neighboring valleys.”
Where is mountaintop removal happening?
There are currently no federal or state agencies tracking the overall extent or cumulative impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining, and so no maps of the actual extent are currently available. Figures from the multi-agency environmental impact statement that was completed in 2003 estimated that more than 700,000 acres in West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee had been impacted, but were based on permit maps provided by coal companies. Permit maps, according to studies by the West Virginia Technical Application Geographic Information System, can underestimate the extent of valley fills by as much as 40%.
You Can End Mountaintop Removal
Mountaintop removal is a radical form of coal mining in which entire mountains are literally blown up -- and it is happening here in America on a scale that is almost unimaginable.
Mountaintop removal is devastating hundreds of square miles of Appalachia; polluting the headwaters of rivers that provide drinking water to millions of Americans; and destroying a distinctly American culture that has endured for generations.
But mountaintop removal can be stopped -- with the help of people like you.
Please take a moment to learn more about mountaintop removal mining -- and then join us by taking action to stop it.
Learn more at www.iLoveMountains.org.