Coal mining causes a number of damaging effects. When coal surfaces are bare, pyrite also known as fool's gold, comes in contact with irrigate and air and forms sulfuric acid. As water drains from the mine, the acid moves into the waterways, and as long as rain falls on the mine tailings the sulfuric acid manufacture continues, whether the mine is still in service or not. This process is known as acid rock drainage or acid mine drainage. If the coal is strip mined, the entire exposed seam leaches sulfuric acid, leaving the subsoil infertile on the surface and begins to pollute streams by acidifying and killing fish, plants, and water animals which are responsive to drastic pH shifts.
Coal mining produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Methane is the naturally happening product of the decay of organic matter as coal deposits are formed with rising depths of burial, rising temperature, and rising force over geological time.A portion of the methane produced is absorbed by the coal and later released from the coal seam and surrounding bothered strata during the mining process. Methane accounts for 10.5% of greenhouse gas release created through human activity. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on type of weather Change, methane has a global warm potential 21 times greater than that of carbon dioxide on a 100 year time line. While burning coal in power plants is most damaging to air quality, due to the emission of unsafe gases, the process of mining can release pockets of dangerous gases.
These gases may pose a threat to coal miners as well as a source of air pollution. This is due to the relaxation of pressure and fracture of the strata during removal activity, which gives rise to serious safety concerns for the coal miners if not managed properly. The buildup of pressure in the strata can lead to bang during or after the removal process if prevention methods, such as methane draining, are not taken.
Wherever it occurs in the world, strip removal severely alters the landscape, which compensation the values of the natural setting in the surrounding land. Strip mining, or surface mining of coal completely eliminates existing vegetation, destroys the genetic soil profile, displaces or destroys wildlife and habitat, degrade air quality, alters current land uses, and to some extent enduringly changes the general topography of the area mined. The group of people of micro organisms and nutrient cycling processes are upset by group, storage, and redeployment of soil.
Generally, soil trouble and linked compaction result in circumstances conducive to erosion. Soil removals from the area to be surface mined alters or destroy many natural soil characteristics, and may reduce its productivity for agriculture or biodiversity. Soil structure may be troubled by pulverization or aggregate stop working.
Removal of vegetative cover and activities linked with construction of haul roads, stockpiling of topsoil, displacement of overburden and hauling of soil and coal increase the quantity of dust around mining operations. Dust degrade air quality in the immediate area, can have unfavorable impacts on vegetative life, and may comprise a health and security hazard for mine workers and nearby inhabitants.
The land surface, often hundreds of acres, is dedicated to mining behavior until it can be reshape and reclaimed. If mining is allowed, resident human populations must be resettled off the mine site, and financial activities such as agriculture or hunting and gathering food or therapeutic plants are displaced, at least temporarily. What becomes of the land surface after mining is determined by the way in which mining is conduct.
Surface mining can adversely impact the hydrology of a region. Decline of watercourse quality can result from acid mine drainage, toxic trace elements, high content of dissolved solids in mine drainage water, and greater than before sediment loads discharge to streams. Waste piles and coal storage piles can yield sediment to streams, and leached water from these piles can be acid and contain toxic trace elements.
Surface waters may be rendered unfit for agriculture, human consumption, bathing, or other family uses. Controlling these impacts need careful management of outside water flows into and out of removal operation.