EOLIA, Ky. (AP) - The federal Surface Mining Control and
Reclamation Act was supposed to strike a balance between coal
production and environmental protection.
But 30 years after President Carter signed the law in 1977,
residents of Appalachia and the West still have horror stories
about bulldozers and blasting next door.
Strip mining and mountaintop removal are the best known forms of
surface mining, in which vegetation, soil and rock overlying the
mineral deposits are scraped away. The two-pronged federal law
established regulations for active coal mines and for reclaiming
abandoned mine lands that predate the act.
Executive director Joe Lovett of the Appalachian Center for the
Economy and the Environment says the Office of Surface Mining has
refused to enforce the act, which has had devastating affects
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)