Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Destroys Communities

Fact Sheet
May 10, 2010

Mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining is one of the world’s most destructive practices for extracting fossil fuels. This extreme method of strip mining is scarring the landscape and threatening communities. All across Central Appalachia -- between the hollows of West Virginia, bordering the Blue Ridge of Virginia, beyond the bluegrass of Kentucky, and above the smoky vistas of Tennessee -- companies are tearing down mountains to access the coal below. In the process they are clear-cutting miles of forests, filling the rivers with coal mining waste, polluting the waters with toxic runoff, and sacrificing the safety of the people who call this region home. MTR coal mining sites, which can exceed 10 square miles, have already leveled more than 500 summits so far.