The study, “The Effects of Mountaintop Mines and Valley Fills on Aquatic Ecosystems of the Central Appalachian Coalfields,” is a review of the scientific literature concerning what is known about the effects of mountaintop mining on water quality. The agency sourced the material from only peer-reviewed scientific journal articles and its own research. The report finds that, in general, there’s no evidence that current laws and methods of reclaiming mine sites are doing enough to protect water quality. It cites the fact that over the past decade, more than 1200 miles of streams have been buried under valley fills, and that water quality downstream is so severely degraded it’s lethal for some organisms. The report is still a draft and open for public comment.
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