Coal Pollution Invades Water, Air and Land

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  • Topic: Mining, Coal, National Ambient Air Quality Standards
  • Pages : 4 (1472 words )
  • Download(s) : 343
  • Published : August 2, 2011
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Coal Pollution Invades the Water, Air, and Soil
Amy Crowder
Due to the lack of effort to clean the environment of coal mine pollutants, we the society continue to endure the effects of waste. Water, land, and air are the types of pollution we have to deal with each and every day of our lives. Water pollution affects rivers, lakes, and streams. It produces acid-mine drainage, consisting of iron, manganese, and aluminum. Every facet, involving water is effected by acid-pollution in the mines. Coal mining is a negative environmental factor in mountain top removal and strip-mining. Due to the fact that our air is so full of pollutants from mining, we attribute many diseases to this problem. A majority of the streams in southern West Virginia have had acid run off from the coal mines. Once the coal seams open and oxygen is introduced, the process of acid-mine drainage begins (“Acid Mine Drainage”). The acid runoff is composed of various metals, but primarily iron, manganese, and aluminum. Water is a necessity of life. More than fifty percent of our body is composed of water. Therefore, water pollution is a critical factor in our lives. In the early 1900s, coal miners didn’t care about the pollution they were causing and what effects it had on humans and the environment. It was not until 1977 that laws were enacted forcing the clean up (“Acid Mine Drainage.) After many years of the water pollution problems, we are now faced with having to find solutions. A major environmental factor that is destroying the beautiful mountains of West Virginia is mountain top removal. The process of mountain mining begins by digging the rock and soil from the mountains (“Mountaintop Mining and Valley Fills”). Coal seams are then uncovered and oxygen replaces the soil and rock. The volume of rock and soil increase due to the “swelling” of rock and soil, referred to as overburden. Because the overburden cannot be replaced, it is placed in a valley fill. Approximately four hundred...
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