Urban Fold

Mining Companies Blast Mountaintops and Memories

Controversial technique by mining companies of dynamiting moutaintops to get at coal destroys more than the environment.

Once brimming with life and the promise of prosperity, most of these communities now sit empty and broken. Failed businesses and rundown buildings stand like memorials to a more hopeful past...With the rise of mountaintop-removal mining, entire towns have been relocated -- in many cases forcibly evacuated -- to allow better access to the coal seams running through these hills...The coal dust piles up quickly on buildings, in homes, and on land around the plants. And the sulfur it contains, in addition to posing a potential public-health hazard...The goal for local activist groups, then, is to raise awareness among residents in areas of heavy mining activity and teach them to watch for notices of land sales or permit applications in the local papers."

Full Story: Blast Rites

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