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Mountaintop Removal

Page history last edited by Robert Hackett 6 years, 11 months ago

Note: please note that this issue overview should (a) contain links to the issue briefs on this topic that are focused either the local, state, national, or global level, and (b) be neutrally presented, based on facts, and include footnotes for each of the items.  See the Research Guide and Information Sources to assist you. 



Goal Statement   one sentence that further defines the topic 

  •  To reduce and ultimately eliminate the effects of mountaintop removal on watersheds in the Appalachian region.  


Policy Options / Model Programs   specific policies or program models, grouped by type, that are profiled 

  • Clean Water Protection Act[1]

    • This act would amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act by clarifying that fill material cannot be comprised of waste.

    • Sponsored by: Rep Pallone, Frank, Jr.

    • Introduced: March 4, 2009

  • Appalachia Restoration Act, S. 696[2]
    • This act would amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to include a definition of fill material.
    • "The term 'fill material' means any pollutant that -- replaces a portion of the waters of the United States with dry land or modifies the bottom elevation of a body of water for any purpose."
    • Sponsored by: Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ben Cardin (D-MD)
    • Introduced in Senate March 29, 2009



Issue Briefs   issue briefs on this topic at the local, state, national, global level



Glossary of Terms   key words or phrases that the layperson needs to know to understand this issue 

  • Mountaintop Removal (as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency): Mountaintop removal/valley fill is a mining practice where the tops of mountains are removed, exposing the seams of coal. Mountaintop removal can involve removing 500 feet or more of the summit to get at buried seams of coal. The earth from the mountaintop is then dumped in the neighboring valleys.[3]





  1. United States Environmental Protection Agency. 2008. Introduction to the Clean Water Act. http://www.epa.gov/watertrain/cwa/. July, 1, 2009
  2. Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative. 2009. Trees for Appalachia's Future. http://arri.osmre.gov/. July 1, 2009
  3. I Love Mountains.org. 2009. End Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining: What is Mountaintop Removal. http://www.ilovemountains.org July 1, 2009.

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