According to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, there are 20 permitted coal mines in Tennessee, although only four or five are actively mining, given the current low price of coal. Sixty percent of those mines are in Campbell and Claiborne Counties. (The rest are in Anderson, Cumberland, and Fentress Counties.) It’s been this way for over a century—coal is a way of life around here, and it’s hard to find a person who doesn’t have some kind of connection to the industry, even if he never worked in the mines himself.
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