03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Mountaintop Mining Threatens Human Health, Scientists Find

Scientific evidence that mountaintop-removal coal mining destroys streams and threatens human health is so strong that government should stop granting new permits for it, a group of 12 environmental scientists report in Friday's issue of the journal Science.

The consequences of this mining in eastern Kentucky, West Virginia and southwestern Virginia are "pervasive and irreversible," the article finds. Companies are required by law to take steps to reduce the damages, but their efforts don't compensate for lost streams nor do they prevent lasting water pollution, it says.

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