|Written by Jim Lo Scalzo|
|02 Jun 2009|
Ghosts in the Hollow (2009)
A film by Jim Lo Scalzo
Up until 1977, when coal seams in Appalachia were mined out, coal companies often just moved on, leaving behind these structural remains. Hoping to end this practice, and its environmental consequences, Congress passed a mining act in 1977 requiring coal companies to clean up future sites and to contribute to a fund, called the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) fund, to clean up the old ones. By then 1.1 million acres of coalmine land nationwide was in need of reclamation, according to the Department of Agriculture.
President Obama included a provision in his budget proposal to halt future AML payouts to states like Wyoming that have cleaned up all their abandoned sites. Not so Appalachian states, where coal mining has gone on for decades, even centuries, longer than out West, and which has a much bigger inventory of abandoned operations. In most cases the detritus is barely noticeable: a concrete foundation, a larry car, a coal tipple. In other cases entire towns lay deserted and overgrown.
©Jim Lo Scalzo
(Running time: 3mins 06sec, Format: Quicktime Movie. File size: 36mb)
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