What are the environmental concerns in the Appalachian area from coal mining?
Surface coal mining in the Appalachian has contributed to the destruction of over 500 mountain tops. In addition, it has led to the clearance of over 1 million acres of forests and contributed to the degradation or permanent loss of over 12000 miles of streams crucial to the Appalachia watershed from 1985- 2001.
Why is coal mining a big part of Appalachians history?
Coal mining began in the mid-1700s to supply commercial and residential users. Large-scale timber harvesting and coal mining stimulated railroad expansion in the mid-1800s, which improved transportation link- ages to more populated areas and further increased coal demand.
What are the problems with coal mining?
The environmental challenges from coal mining include coal mine accidents, land subsidence, damage to the water environment, mining waste disposal and air pollution. These are either environmental pollution or landscape change. A conceptual framework for solving mine environmental issues is proposed.
How does coal mining affect the community?
Mining Adds Harmful Pollution to Our Air: There are two main sources of air pollution during the coal production process: methane emissions from the mines, which contribute to global warming pollution, and particulate matter (PM) emissions, which can cause significant respiratory damage as well as premature death.
What other problems could the extreme environmental damage caused by the kind of mining done in the Appalachians create?
In Appalachia, mining companies literally blow the tops off mountains to reach thin seams of coal. They then dump millions of tons of rubble into the streams and valleys below the mining sites. Toxic heavy metals such as cadmium, selenium, and arsenic leach into local water supplies, poisoning drinking water.
What are the environmental impacts of surface mining?
Surface mining (another name for “strip mining”) can severely erode the soil or reduce its fertility; pollute waters or drain underground water reserves; scar or altar the landscape; damage roads, homes, and other structures; and destroy wildlife.
Why does Appalachia have so much coal?
Although jobs have disappeared, Appalachia keeps producing coal. Since 1970, more than two billion tons of coal have come from the central Appalachian coalfields (A-B). West Virginians mined more in 2010 than in the early 1950s, when employment peaked at nearly six times its current level.
Why are the Appalachians so poor?
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.
What are 3 negative effects of coal mining?
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 are the issues of mining?
Mining can pollute air and drinking water, harm wildlife and habitat, and permanently scar natural landscapes. Modern mines as well as abandoned mines are responsible for significant environmental damage throughout the West.
How does mining damage the environment and communities?
Mining often uses large amounts of water and can pollute rivers, streams, groundwater and other sources of water for the community. Mining may also make it difficult for a community to produce its own food by taking up agricultural or grazing land or by polluting the soil or air.
Can coal mining cause birth defects?
Birth defects are significantly more common in areas of mountaintop coal mining and are on the rise as the practice becomes more common, according to a study by researchers at Washington State University and West Virginia University.
What are 3 environmental problems caused by open pit mining?
Some of these effects include erosion, formation of sinkhole, biodiversity loss and contamination of groundwater by chemical from the mining process in general and open-pit mining in particular. As such, a repeatable process to evaluate these effects primarily aims to diminish them.
Which of the following are major environmental issues involved in mining?
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.
What are the consequence of excessive mining in an area?
Across the world, mining contributes to erosion, sinkholes, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, significant use of water resources, dammed rivers and ponded waters, wastewater disposal issues, acid mine drainage and contamination of soil, ground and surface water, all of which can lead to health issues in local …
What kind of problems did those living in Appalachia face?
The Appalachian mountains in the Eastern United States extend across thirteen states and are home to over twenty-five million people. Appalachia struggles with problems typical of rural poverty: social stratification, unemployment, lack of social services, poor education, and poorly developed infrastructure.
What are the Appalachians known for?
The Appalachian Mountain range is the oldest in America These Mountains form the oldest mountain chain in North America. They stretch for 1,500 miles in Canada and the United States. Geologists estimate that the mountains are 480 million years old.
How does coal damage the environment?
Emissions from burning coal 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.
What are major environmental issues with mining?
Mining adversely affects the environment by inducing loss of biodiversity, soil erosion, and contamination of surface water, groundwater, and soil. Mining can also trigger the formation of sinkholes.