Debate over a state law that gives coal companies greater authority to use vacant mine shafts for storage of waste and other activities continues.
Brian Lindholm weighs in:
I’ve got mixed feelings about this one, myself. If I had an empty underground mine shaft underneath my property, I’d want the mining company to fill it with something. Primarily because if it’s left empty, it presents a high risk of unwanted soil subsidence. There’s nothing quite like a slowly collapsing mine shaft to eventually cause cracks in your foundation. Packing the mine with solid waste would prevent this.
That said, it depends on what kind of waste it is. If it’s rock and gravel or other insoluble, chemically-inert stuff, it should work fine. If it’s corrosive (or toxic) and highly soluble, then contamination of ground water could becomes a concern.
Brian, that’s a terrific example of how you arrive at the value you do concerning your own property.
Others have their own reasons for arriving at the values they do, for not wanting or being willing to part with their own property. Frankly, their reasons are their own, and not the concern of either the mining industry or Richmond, just as yours are your own. None is more or less valid than the others.
But when the government establishes what is “reasonable”, it takes my rights and yours completely out of the picture.