Devil's Oven: The fire in the Heart of
the Little Cities of Black Diamonds
- A Video Documentary

Environmental Issues

The legacy of the “Boom - Bust” era of the Hocking Valley Coal Field is evident today in the scared hillsides and polluted streams.

Clean-up efforts by the Monday Creek Restoration Project and the Wayne National Forestry Service, have proven successful, but the project is enormous and is far beyond their budgets, so they concentrate on one area at a time fixing immediate restoration needs.

One of the biggest problems is caused by the almost 5,000 mining features that are in the area, non of which had any environmental rules to abide by at the time they were active.

"All the mines act as underground resevoirs," says Gary Willison, from the Wayne National Forest Service, "and the water runs down into the mines and interacts with the iron and alluminum and magnesium, and then comes out someplace else."

The water flowing out is called Acid Mine Drainage (AMD), and most of the streams are orange; many of the streams are now dead from this pollution.

"Watersheds are not separate units," says Mike Steinmaus of the Monday Creek Resortation Project, "the water in Sunday Creek and Monday Creek eventually run into the Hocking River and are causing a pollution of that."