Coal and Water Resources

E.g., 07/2018
E.g., 07/2018

Appalachian Transition Website

Mountain Association for Community Economic Development and Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

This website is a joint project of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED) and Kentuckians For The Commonwealth. It contains useful analysis, resources, case studies and examples about the opportunity and need for a just economic transition in Appalachia.

Mountaintop Mining Consequences

Margaret Palmer, et al in the journal Science

This is a brief and comprehensive review of many scientific studies describing the environmental and health consequences of mountaintop coal mining in Central Appalachia.

Full Cost Accounting for the Life Cycle of Coal

Dr. Paul Epstein, et al in the Annals of the New York Academy of Science

This study estimates that the mining, transporting and burning of coal results in $75 billion annually in public health costs in Appalachian communities, with a majority of those impacts resulting from increased health care costs, injury, and death.


Self-Reported Cancer Rates in Two Rural Areas of West Virginia

Dr. Michael Hendryx et al in the Journal of Community Health

This study found that mountaintop mining is linked with increased community cancer risk. Self-reported rates of cancer were higher in a WV county with mountaintop coal mining than in a similar, nearby Appalachian county without large scale strip mining.

Health-Related Quality of Life Among Central Appalachian Residents in Mountaintop Mining Counties

Keith Zullig and Michael Hendryx

 This study found that residents of Central Appalachian counties with mountaintop coal mining reported significantly more days of poor physical, mental and activity limitation and rated their own health more poorly than people living in similar communities without large scale strip-mining.


Association between Mountaintop Mining and Birth Defects in Central Appalachia

Melissa Ahern, et al in Environmental Research Journal

This study found that the rate of children born with birth defects was 42% higher in Appalachian communities with mountaintop coal mining than in similar non-mining communities.

Links to numerous scientific studies about health impacts of mining

Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition

This page contains direct links to numerous, recent peer reviewed studies about the health impacts of large scale surface coal mining in Central Appalachia.

Net Loss: Comparing the Cost of Pollution vs. the Value of Electricity from 51 Coal-Fired Plants

Environmental Integrity Project

Between 2,700 and 5,700 deaths a year at a cost of $23 to $47 billion can be attributed to pollution from 51 of the dirtiest coal-burning power plants in the United States.

Pollution on the Rise

U.S. PIRG Education Fund

This report examines U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data on power plant emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from 1995 to 2003 and finds that emissions are on the rise at many plants.

Slow Motion Spills: Coal Combustion Waste & Water in Kentucky

Sierra Club, Kentucky Waterways Alliance, and Global Environmental LLC

Every day in Kentucky, coal combustion waste ponds and landfills leak into our groundwater and rivers, seeping out a slow-motion flood of contamination. As this report shows, every site in Kentucky for which groundwater data was available appears to be leaking. Kentucky is failing to control coal combustion waste contamination.