Coal companies frequently tout the benefits of reclamation and claim their practices protect and restore water quality. The red-stained water seen below this "reclaimed" mountaintop removal mine in Magoffin County, Kentucky, tells a very different story. Red water like this results from high iron levels, which in turn are an indicator of a plethora of other heavy and toxic metals like selenium, mercury and manganese.
Photo by Matt Wasson, Appalachian Voices. April 18th, 2010.