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Mountaintop removal mining is a form of strip mining that completely removes up to 800 feet of bedrock from a mountain top. This form of coal mining is practiced in the southern Appalachians and the Allegheny Plateau in West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. Environmental effects of mountaintop removal mining include deforestation, sludge flows, aquifer depletion and groundwater pollution. Societial effects include loss of human life, safety, health and property due to extensive blasting, toxic waste storage and catastrophic flooding, as well as the resulting loss of the native culture that ensues.


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