Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition


 

Aerial Photos of Mountaintop Removal Mining
Near Blair, WV

Photos by Vivian Stockman unless otherwise noted
Many thanks to Southwings!

Page 1
(Page 1  2)


Dal-Tex mine, near Blair, WV

Dal-Tex mine, near Blair, WV

Samples mine valley fill, Catenary Coal, subsidiary of Arch Coal.
Photo by Charlie Archambault

Big John drag line operating at Samples mine.
Photo by Deana Smith

"Reclaimed" land, before hydro-seeding (grass seed and fertilizer sprayed onto the land) near Blair, West Virginia.

A "reclaimed" mountaintop removal site above what is left of Blair, West Virginia. At this site, the coal company actually attempted something resembling "approximate original contour (AOC)." After scraping away the forests, then blasting away anywhere from 100 to 600 feet, sometimes more, off the top of the mountains, scooping out the thin layers of coal and dumping tons and tons of the rubble into adjacent valleys, coal companies are supposed to reclaim the land. By law, the companies are supposed to restore the landscape to something resembling AOC, though they rarely do. AOC, of course, doesn't put back the buried streams or the annihilated forests. Coal companies claim that this hydro-seeded moonscape is good for wildlife! They destroy the most diverse temperate forest on earth and dare to say the result is good for wildlife (World Wildlife Fund says the Appalachian mixed mesophytic forest is one of 200 hotspots worldwide crucial for saving the diversity of life on Earth). Perhaps deer and turkey can be more easily spotted as they run and run and run trying to find decent cover, but the rich diversity of life is gone. Conservative studies estimate the hardwood forest will take over 100 years to regenerate. Other wonder if it will ever grow back, since coal companies are only required to put back a quarter inch layer of topsoil. 

Page 1
(Page 1  2)

 

     OVEC Home   Issues   Contact   Join   Site Map