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Coal Mining

Essay by   •  December 4, 2011  •  Essay  •  815 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,068 Views

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Coal mining causes many harmful effects. Bad mining can ignite coal fires, which can burn

for decades, release fly ash and smoke loaded down with greenhouse gasses and toxic chemicals.

Mining releases coal mine methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more powerful than carbon

dioxide. Coal dust causes black lung disease among miners and those who live nearby, and mine

accidents kill thousands every year. Coal mining displaces whole communities, forced off their

land by expanding mines, coal fires, decrease and contaminated water supplies. Coal mining

produces methane, a greenhouse gas. Methane is a naturally occurring product of the decay of

organic matter as coal deposits are formed with increasingly depths of burial rising temperatures,

and rising pressure.

Burning coal in power plants is most harmful to the air, due to the emission of dangerous

gases, the process of mining can release hazardous gases. These gases may affect coal miners

and also conclude to air pollution. Surface mining of coal completely eliminates existing

vegetation, destroys the soil, destroys wildlife and habitat, reduce air quality, change current land

uses, and also permanently changing the topography of the area mined. Coal mining also has

effects on water. It may cause a lot of pollution in drinking water. Ground water supplies may be

affected by surface mining. They may be affected by drainage of usable water from shallow

aquifers; lowering of water levels in areas and changes in flow directions within aquifers; and

contamination of usable aquifers below mining operations.

Surface mining of coal causes direct and indirect damage to wildlife. This is caused by

disturbance, removal of wildlife stems, and redistributing the land surfaces. The most direct

effect on wildlife is destruction or displacement of species in areas of emptying. Animals capable

of moving readily like birds and predators leave these areas. Animals like invertebrates, many

reptiles, burrowing rodents and small mammals may be destroyed. Food supplies for predators

are reduced by destruction of these land and water species. Animal populations destroyed can

eventually be replaced from populations in surrounding ranges, provided the habitat is eventually

restored.

Many wildlife species are highly dependent on vegetation growing in natural wastes. This

vegetation provides essential food, nesting sites and cover for escape from predators. Broad and

long lasting impacts on wildlife are caused by habitat impairment. The habitat requirements

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