Mountaintop Mining Research
Mountaintop mining is a practice where the tops of mountains are removed, allowing for almost complete recovery of coal seams while reducing the number of workers required to a fraction of what conventional methods require. Mountaintop mining can involve removing 500 feet or more of the summit to get at the buried seams of coal. The earth from the mountaintop is then moved into neighboring valleys.
EPA research on mountaintop mining examines the impacts of mining on headwater streams and other water resources near mining sites. This research lends scientific support to guidance documents for land managers to provide for mining flexibility while protecting the environment and public health.
Science Matters: EPA Science on Mountaintop Mining
Final Report: The effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central Appalachian Coalfields (2011 Final)
Effects of Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fill (MTM/VF) on Functional Indicators in Appalachian Headwater Streams
Impact of Mountaintop Mining/Valley Fill on the Stable Carbon Isotopic Composition and Concentration of Dissolved Organic Carbon and Dissolved Inorganic Carbon in Headwater Streams
Science Advisory Board: Mountaintop Mining – Valley-Fill Ecological Assessment
Mid-Atlantic Mountaintop Mining Guidance