Research Finds Mine Reclamation Failures

By Brian Sewell

Efforts to restore mountaintop removal coal mines are not meeting the objectives of the Clean Water Act, creating a variety of consequences for aquatic life, according to a September study by the University of Maryland’s National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center.

According to the study’s authors, surface mine sites reclaimed more than 20 years ago are still degrading water quality. In a separate study of salamander populations and species diversity in impacted streams, University of Kentucky researchers concluded that although improved reforestation efforts could be beneficial for salamanders, current reclamation practices do not lead to recovery of species diversity in streams.


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