Nearly a quarter of streams in southern West Virginia polluted due to mine runoff says damage to streams and rivers in southern West Virginia is substantial due to mining, and even small operations can have a large impact on wildlife:

Substantial declines in insect diversity began to occur when companies had mined as little as one percent of upstream land, the analysis showed. In areas where companies had converted about five percent of the land into mines, sensitive species such as mayflies and stoneflies had vanished or declined to an extent that the streams would qualify as biologically impaired under criteria set by the state of West Virginia.