Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Rick Mayes

Second Advisor

Dr. Todd Lookingbill


The purpose of this report is to investigate the environmental and health effects of coal mining in the Appalachian region of the United States in the context of global natural resource extraction, explore existing regulation for the reduction of negative environmental health effects of mining in Appalachia, and explore the social justice implications of current mining practices. The research for this report was limited to literature published in English. It was found that there are widespread negative health effects of mining in Appalachia due to environmental toxins, a toxic social environment of limited economic opportunity, and occupational health hazards. The fate of Appalachia as a national sacrifice zone is often viewed as inevitable by the public, which allows the slow violence of environmental and health degradation to persist. The injustices that occur in Appalachia as a result of coal mining deny Appalachians the right for fair equality of opportunity. Consumers and regulators of coal play a key role in establishing justice in Appalachia.

Included in

Chemistry Commons