Mining companies may have to reclaim natural areas or pay a reclamation fee based on where they are mining and the impacts of the operation. Some ecosystems cannot be restored to original quality, however. Wetlands are especially difficult to reclaim. In some instances, after a natural area is disturbed by mining, a company will attempt to “create” a similar ecosystem in a different location as reclamation (these also commonly have biodiversity and quality issues). In addition, mining operations can degrade the soil, air, and water of an ecosystem and neighboring ecosystems that cannot be completely restored. This is especially true in very destructive mining processes, such as mountain top removal.
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