Coal’s Environmental Impact on Appalachia

President Donald Trump campaigned with persistence and ensured that coal mining jobs would return to areas that previously capitalized on the fossil fuel. Appalachia happens to be one of those areas; an area devastated both economically and environmentally from the coal industry.

This spike in coal enthusiasm has concerned environmentalists and residents across the region, including those in Athens, Ohio.

Run-off from a local coal mine has begun to affect bodies of water near Athens. This unfortunate occurrence has brought the community together for a hearing on the proposed permit, as reported by The Athens News. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discussed that if the permit is passed, the runoff from the mine is well within the limits of Ohio’s water-quality standards.

Well, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure — at least for some researchers this may be the case. The run-off from these coal mines could produce rare elements that are valuable ingredients for technology and the defense sector.

Historically, when greed comes before the environment, there have been irreversible damages. This can be seen from the waning amount of oil resources, deforestation and the chemical run-off from high production of clothing companies. These decisions not only affect those today, but also the future of wildlife and humans alike.

The decision will vastly change the landscape of Athens, Appalachia and the areas surrounding it. Whether that be for the overall betterment of society, only time will tell.

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