Profile image
By Appalachian Voices
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:

Surface Mining Banned in 75,000 Acres of Tennessee, But New Mine Proposed

Thursday, February 9, 2017 16:17
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

By Elizabeth E. Payne

On Dec. 7, 2016, the U.S. Department of the Interior approved the state of Tennessee’s 2010 petition to designate nearly 75,000 acres off-limits for surface coal mining.

The ban includes ridgelines in the North Cumberland Wildlife Management Area and the Emory River Tact Conservation Easement.

“It will provide tremendous economic value for tourism and recreation for future generations,” says DJ Coker, a resident of Campbell County, Tenn., who lives near the protected land.

The state’s petition was filed with the Department of the Interior in 2010 under then-governor Phil Bredesen. The December designation forbids surface coal mining within a 1,200-foot-wide corridor, with a 600-foot buffer on either side of 569 miles of ridgeline.

The decision makes limited exceptions for environmentally beneficial re-mining, such as removing dangerous features from abandoned mine sites, and it does not extend to existing permits, nor does it prohibit underground mining in this area.

Yet many mountain ridges, including in East Tennessee, are not protected. A new surface coal mine has been proposed on 1,500 acres in Claiborne County, Tenn. The proposed Cooper Ridge Mine is not inside the newly protected area and would negatively impact Valley Creek, Hurricane Creek and other mountain streams.

Protecting the Central and Southern Appalachian Mountain Region


We encourage you to Share our Reports, Analyses, Breaking News and Videos. Simply Click your Favorite Social Media Button and Share.

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories



Top Global

Top Alternative



Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.