"Schemes that favour coal companies in Appalachia have left a national shortfall experts said was ‘one of the biggest public failures that has gone under the radar’
"As the US coal industry winds down, does it have enough money set aside to clean up the vast pits, walls and broken mountains left behind?"
A Climate Home News investigation has found the answer is no. Particularly in Appalachia, the land, water and health of mining communities have been put at risk by a critically underfunded system supposed to clean up after mines close.
According to national data compiled and published for the first time on Thursday, mining companies and state governments hold just $9.2 billion nationwide to ensure mining land is reclaimed if operators go bust. Experts told CHN that amount falls far short of what is needed to rehabilitate more than two million acres of mining permits the system is supposed to cover."