This recent articles covers the rapid decline and collapse of the coal industry and its impacts on Central Appalachia and other coal-affected areas.

Elsewhere in Kentucky, local governments have enacted partial government shutdowns or cut into basic services such as waste management and law enforcement. Many places have failed to maintain and build infrastructure that’s necessary for an economic transition from coal, resulting in failing water systemsflooding and other crises.

“All of the water in the coalfield areas is impaired by mining,” said Mary Cromer, deputy director of the Appalachian Citizens Law Center. “It’s so pervasive, it’s hard to say exactly how it affects growth or development or the chance for anything else around here. It puts a strain on water treatment systems.”

Read the article here.