Mining is inherently risky. Weather it be uranium, gold, iron, copper or coal mining.-----Looks like spelling is inherently risky for some, whether they admit it or not.Oh, and not knowing your facts is risky too.in WV and KY, folks are upset about strip mining (which negates the need for underground coal mining and the risks there). -----'Negates the risks' ?B-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-T! Wrong 'Folks' are upset that the mining companies just tear off the top of a mountain and dump it down into the valleys, leaving a raw gash of mud and rocks after they've stripped out the coal. Meanwhile the sludge from the mining process is dumped into streams, lakes, and hollows destroying a vital part of Appalacian ecology for generations.In the name of corporate expedience, coal companies have turned from excavation to simply blasting away the tops of the mountains. To achieve this, they use the same mixture of ammonium nitrate and diesel fuel that Timothy McVeigh employed to level the Murrow Building in Oklahoma City -- except each detonation is 10 times as powerful, and thousands of blasts go off each day across central Appalachia. Hundreds of feet of forest, topsoil, and sandstone -- the coal industry calls all of this "overburden" -- are unearthed so bulldozers and front-end loaders can more easily extract the thin seams of rich, bituminous coal that stretch in horizontal layers throughout these mountains. Almost everything that isn't coal is pushed down into the valleys below. As a result, 6,700 "valley fills" were approved in central Appalachia between 1985 and 2001. The U.S. EPA estimates that over 700 miles of healthy streams have been completely buried by mountaintop removal and thousands more have been damaged. Where there once flowed a highly braided system of headwater streams, now a vast circuitry of haul roads winds through the rubble. From the air, it looks like someone had tried to plot a highway system on the moon.http://www.grist.org/news/maindish/2006/02/16/reece/That's without even mentioning the resultant health issues the residents are enduring.Wiley started flipping through the sign-out book and found that 15 to 20 students went home sick every day because of asthma problems, severe headaches, blisters in their mouths, constant runny noses, and nausea. In May 2005, when Mountain Justice volunteers started going door-to-door in an effort to identify citizens' concerns and possibly locate cancer clusters, West Virginia activist Bo Webb found that 80 percent of parents said their children came home from school with a variety of illnesses. The school, a small brick building, sits almost directly beneath a Massey Energy subsidiary's processing plant where coal is washed and stored. Coal dust settles like pollen over the playground. Nearly 3 billion gallons of coal slurry, which contains extremely high levels of mercury, cadmium, and nickel, are stored behind a 385-foot-high earthen dam right above the school.It ain't the mining so much, it's the mess the mining companies leave behind.ten
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