EPA, “Meeting Community Needs, Protecting Human Health and the Environment: Active and Passive Recreational Opportunities at Abandoned Mine Lands,” undated, circa 2001 or 2002
This EPA document, likely published in 2001 or 2002, captures the problem of what to do with the mine lands that had been abandoned during the latter half of the twentieth century. The paper reflects concerns voiced by mining critics as strip mining proliferated, including the ecological, health, social, and economic threats posed by these “unreclaimed” or un-restored mined lands. Read the document’s introduction and at least one of its subsections, and consider the following questions:
What does this document reveal about coal companies’ adherence to federal reclamation policies during the last three decades of the twentieth century?
How well do you think that the document’s suggestions, including creating “active recreation” sites on abandoned mine lands, address the ecological costs of surface mining?
How might an emphasis on creating recreational sites on abandoned mine lands appeal to mining companies seeking to dispose of the lands, and to their political supporters?
Environmental Protection Agency, ""Meeting Community Needs, Protecting Human Health and the Environment: Active and Passive Recreational Opportunities at Abandoned Mine Lands," undated.