NASA Photos Reveal True Impact of Mountaintop Removal Mining

Written by Amanda Starbuck

Topics: Coal

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Satellite photos recently released by NASA illustrate the real impacts of mountaintop removal (MTR) mining in Appalachia.

They were taken between 1984 and 2009 at the Hobet mine site in Boone County, West Virginia.

You can see through the time lapse the scale of the deforestation that has taken place, followed by the leveling of the mountain tops and filling of the valleys.

This is the same Hobet mine that was recently awarded a permit to expand by the EPA.

We urge EPA administrator Lisa Jackson to examine this practice firsthand, and take a citizen-led flyover of Appalachia before she considers issuing any further MTR mining permits.

4 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Jenn says:

    How many miles across is each image?

  2. malik says:

    how many times larger? as a percentage?

  3. Amanda says:

    Jenn: If you click on the image to see a larger version, you can see a scale in the bottom left corner, the small white horizontal line, which represents 1 kilometer

  4. Amanda says:

    Malik: Over the 25 years of this photo series, the mine grew to more than 10,000 acres (15.6 square miles). The full NASA commentary can be viewed here:

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