Impact of mountaintop removal mining on public health and/or aquatic ecosystems

Posted by Evan Hansen on Friday, January 31 2014


Evan Hansen

Switzer fellow Evan Hansen with Downstream Strategies, in partnership with SkyTruth, is seeking a Switzer fellow to collaborate on a Network Innovation grant proposal. These West Virginia-based organizations hope to study the impact of mountaintop removal (MTR) mining on public health and/or aquatic ecosystems, and to improve the knowledge-base for future studies of this destructive practice. In 2009, using landuse classification of Landsat satellite imagery, SkyTruth produced a ground-breaking database mapping the actual footprint of mountaintop removal mines from 1976 to 2005. That database that has since served as the foundation for four peer reviewed studies, a public outreach campaign, and is believed to have influenced EPA decisionmaking that overturned a controversial mine expansion permit.

Now SkyTruth and Downstream Strategies hope to update this dataset with more recent satellite imagery and work with another Switzer fellow to conduct a study of MTR impacts with the updated dataset. If you are interested in discussing potential collaboration to study the public or environmental health impacts of MTR mining, please contact Evan Hansen at Downstream Stategies and David Manthos at SkyTruth for more information.

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