Rory McIlmoil is a project research analyst at Downstream Strategies. He applies his background in environmental policy, sustainable energy, and green jobs to research on Appalachia’s environmental policies and energy development.

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Like many waterways in the U.S. region of central Appalachia, the Cheat River once ran acidic—a legacy of drainage from the watershed’s countless abandoned coal mines and refuse piles. Just a couple of decades ago, the noxious waters stressed fish populations and polluted potable water supplies, and the unreclaimed mines posed health and …

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