Reports of Property Damage from Longwall Coal Mining Mount in Pa.

"WAYNESBURG, Pa. -- A surge in mining damage to waterways, houses and roads has sparked a fierce debate in southwestern Pennsylvania's coal region about whether regulations are strong enough to protect property and natural resources."

"At issue is a modern, mechanized take on a centuries-old mining technique that shears coal away from underground seams in massive panels that are generally hundreds of feet thick and a mile or so long.

That technique, known as longwall mining, now produces some 40 percent of all coal from U.S. underground mines, up from 5 percent in 1980, according to federal statistics. In Pennsylvania, longwall produced 38 million tons of the 48 million tons produced by underground mining in 2009, the latest full year for which statistics are available."

Manuel Quinones reports for Greenwire September 29, 2011.

Source: Greenwire, 09/30/2011