Brown coal was first discovered in the Cologne Lowland in 1819 and has been mined there since 1826. Production peaked in the 1980s with an annual production of about 120 tons. Over time, numerous villages had to be evacuated and demolished to allow for the expansion of the strip mines. In 2019, the German federal government decided to end the use of lignite for energy production by 2038. 
Niederau├čem
St. Johann Baptist
Manheim
Immerath
Hambach