Some Colerain Township residents are proposing methods for drastically reducing or halting the thousands of tons of trash that's dumped daily into Mount Rumpke, the landfill nicknamed for its distinction as Hamilton County's highest point. Colerain Township's Property Owners Want Equal Rights (POWER) and Ohio Citizen Action have banded together for an effort dubbed the Good Neighbor Campaign.
The oak forest around him is thick and silent, dappled with autumn sunlight. But the serenity stops abruptly at a cliff on the edge of McKinley Sumner's 63 acres in the Eastern Kentucky mountains. It's been six years now since his neighbor sold out to the International Coal Group and the mountaintop removal mining began, but Sumner's eyes still flash at the sight.
The area near the intersection of Roundbottom and Broadwell roads in Anderson Township features manufacturing buildings, a landscaping company, a park, a few blocks of small, older houses and signs. Lately, lots of signs.
Mountains explode and disappear all the time in the Appalachians. Mountaintop removal transforms small streams into raging torrents that sweep away houses several times a year and dumps arsenic, mercury, lead, copper and chromium into drinking water, some of which makes its way to Cincinnati.