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Strip Mining in Claiborne County


Photo by Tyler Oxendine

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  • GLO ON: The sign at Kopper Glo’s coal washing plant in Clairfield warns of chemical and physical hazards ahead. The Knoxville-based company is looking to open two new surface mines totaling over 2,000 acres in Claiborne County.
  • FIGHT THE POWER: Russell Worley, pictured on a reclaimed strip mine, and Vicki Terry, standing in her yard, are local residents of the Clear Fork Valley who have found themselves increasingly concerned about mining’s impact on the community.
  • ONE LAST LOOK: Russell Worley, left, and Vickie Terry stare out at a ridge that they suspect will be surface mined by Kopper Glo if the company’s permits are approved. Further off in the distance, you can see the scraggly trees on another ridge that was once a mine; “dragon’s teeth,” Terry calls them.
  • DEVELOPMENT BLUES: Community activist and educator Carol Judy says the area needs more than just mining jobs to develop a sustainable and stable economy.
  • GOOD GUY: Richard Reamsnyder of Campbell County thinks most people in the coal industry are “good guys,” but he’s worried about mining’s effect on the water quality.
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