An extract on #mountaintop
It may also refer to:
I've Been to the Mountaintop, the last speech delivered by Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Mountaintop, a play by Katori Hall about King
Mountaintops, an album by Mates of State
Mountain Top may refer to:
Mountain Top, Pennsylvania
Mountain T.O.P., a Christian ministry in Tennessee
The practice of mountaintop removal mining has been controversial. The coal industry cites economic benefits and asserts that mountaintop removal is safer than underground mining. Published scientific studies have found that mountaintop mining has serious environmental impacts that mitigation practices cannot successfully address. A high potential for human health impacts has also been reported.
Mountaintop removal mining (MTR), also known as mountaintop mining (MTM), is a form of surface mining that involves the topographical alteration and/or removal of a summit, hill, or ridge to access buried coal seams.
The MTR process involves the removal of coal seams by first fully removing the overburden laying atop them, exposing the seams from above. This method differs from more traditional underground mining, where typically a narrow shaft is dug which allows miners to collect seams using various underground methods, while leaving the vast majority of the overburden undisturbed. The overburden from MTR is either placed back on the ridge, attempting to reflect the approximate original contour of the mountain, and/or it is moved into neighboring valleys.
Excess rock and soil containing mining byproducts are disposed into nearby valleys, in what are called "holler fills" or "valley fills."
MTR in the United States is most often associated with the extraction of coal in the Appalachian Mountains, where the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 2,200 square miles (5,700 km2) of Appalachian forests will be cleared for MTR sites by the year 2012. Sites range from Ohio to Virginia. It occurs most commonly in West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky, the top two coal-producing states in Appalachia, with each state using approximately 1,000 tonnes of explosives per day for surface mining. At current rates, MTR in the U.S. will mine over 1.4 million acres (5,700 km) by 2010, an amount of land area that exceeds that of the state of Delaware.
Mountaintop removal has been practiced since the 1960s. Increased demand for coal in the United States, sparked by the 1973 and 1979 petroleum crises, created incentives for a more economical form of coal mining than the traditional underground mining methods involving hundreds of workers, triggering the first widespread use of MTR. Its prevalence expanded further in the 1990s to retrieve relatively low-sulfur coal, a cleaner-burning form, which became desirable as a result of amendments to the U.S. Clean Air Act that tightened emissions limits on high-sulfur coal processing.