Premining Conditions

The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA) requires that the environment surrounding coalmines be restored to pre-mining conditions. Prior to the passage of this piece of legislation, mining companies left open pits, trenches, and large holes exposed. This created dangerous and unstable land conditions and often led to the collapse of such areas when disturbed by humans or wildlife. Also, sediment and contaminated soil and water were swept away by rain events, polluting nearby streams and rivers. SMCRA mandated regulations to prevent these types of activities. It also limited mining operations in national parks, national historic places, wildlife refuges, and wild and scenic rivers. Finally, SMCRA established a fund to restore mining areas that were abandoned prior to 1977.

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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