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Out of State, Out of Mind • The Bootleg Coal Rebellion
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Out of State, Out of Mind

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    In the Anthracite Region today, New York sewage becomes a Pennsylvania problem. Mitch Troutman writes for the Baffler about how Schuylkill and Carbon county residents are fighting back:

    THEY WERE UP THERE grinning, cradling trophies, covered head to toe in human shit. I was in the West End of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, for an off-road race. Nothing but homemade trucks and bragging rights, the track woven through vast abandoned strip mines off I-81. We were told that just a week before, the land had been coated in processed sewage coming out of New York. The event host, Rausch Creek Offroad, does this for mine reclamation. Some riders discussed this indignity in angry whispers because most people were trying hard not to think about it. It was the first I’d ever seen something like that, but being born and raised twenty miles away, maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised.

    Famously, New York has a waste problem. The anthracite coal region, just two and a half hours away, has cheap land and a history of anything-goes development. But it’s more than trash that binds the two places. The coal region fueled the furnaces of the industrial revolution; today it’s where the distribution centers feed consumer goods onto the highway to New York. Retreating along the same path are the numerous people driven out of the city, in search of cheap rent and established community. In short, the region is where the New York Metro area solves its problems.

    Read the rest at The Baffler.