Longwall mining is a deep mining technique which extracts coal in long panels resulting in layers of rock collapsing into the void left by the removal of the coal seam, which is known as "subsidence." This mining practice and the extreme subsidence it causes have a variety of effects on natural and man-made features in Southwestern Pennsylvania communities.
Coal refuse and slurry is liquid and solid waste from processing coal after it has been mined. Coal processing creates millions tons of waste that companies dispose of by filling in valleys.
Hydraulic fracturing, also called “fracking” is a destructive process to extract natural gas and oil from shale rock formations that lie deep underground.
Coal ash is the toxic byproduct of burning coal. Pennsylvania generates more coal ash than any other state, producing more than 15.4 million tons per year. There are 103 coal ash storage and disposal sites across the state. In Southwestern, PA there are a number of coal ash disposal sites, including massive coal ash dumps in LaBelle, PA and in Georgetown, PA right next to communities where people have been fighting to shut them down for years.