Protocol for a Study of the Effect of Surface Mining in Central Appalachia on Adverse Birth Outcomes
Surface mining has become a major method of coal mining in Central Appalachia alongside the traditional underground mining. Concerns have been raised about the health effects of this surface mining, particularly mountaintop removal mining where coal is mined upon steep mountaintops by removing the mountaintop through clearcutting forests and explosives. We have designed a matched observational study to assess the effects of surface mining in Central Appalachia on adverse birth outcomes. This protocol describes for the study the background and motivation, the sample selection and the analysis plan.