3 Environmental aspects of coal mining
3.1 Environmental aspects of coal mining
Coal produced by both types of mining is used either to fuel electricity generation or for industrial and domestic heating, both of which result in atmospheric pollution, but here we are concerned with direct environmental impact on the land. Surface and underground mining operations cause significantly different environmental problems. Those that surround surface mining are common to any large quarrying operation: sterilization of the land and restoration of quarry sites; dust; and noise while operating. Mining waste is not a problem since it helps to fill the hole created. Underground mines produce less noise and dust at the surface, but cause land subsidence and generate long-lasting waste tips, even though some waste is used as backfill. As you will see, both operations can potentially cause water pollution.