Less than 3% of former surface mine sites are developed

Reclaimed Mine

The Lexington Herald-Leader published an interesting article citing evidence that very few surface mining sites actually get developed once all the coal has left the ground.  Data from this article flies in the face of the coal industry's propaganda that eastern Kentucky has an insatiable need for the flat land that comes from large surface mining and mountaintop removal sites.

Bill Estep reports:

HAZARD – As attacks on mountaintop-removal mining in Appalachia have grown increasingly sharp, the coal industry and its supporters have defended the practice by saying that reclaimed mine areas provide flat land for development in a place where level sites are scarce.

However, development was planned for less than 3 percent of the roughly half-million acres of land covered by surface-mining permits in Kentucky over the last decade, according to state data.

That amounts to less than 14,000 acres scheduled to be reclaimed for commercial, residential, industrial or recreational development, data from the Kentucky Division of Mine Permits shows.

 You can read the full article here.

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