Abandoned Mine Drainage and
Western PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation
What is AMD?
• Abandoned vs. “Acid”
• Pre- 1977
• Bituminous region and Anthracite region
Extent of the problem
• PA has the most abandoned mine problems of any
• Affects surface waters from abandoned discharges.
• Mine pools below the surface. Some may be
• Contamination from runoff from surface
disturbances as well
Main constituents of concern in AMD
affecting water supplies in Eastern
Treatment options for surface
• Hard to pigeonhole treatment technology.
Every discharge different.
• Passive vs Active treatment
– Ownership of systems
– Available land
Can we treat the discharges that enter
• Fe, relatively easy,
– aeration, settling
• Mn, more difficult, high pH required
• Al, relatively easy, increase pH
• Acidity, relatively easy, using limestone, chitin
– Bioreactors, don’t remove all.
– RO, can be done but very
Water wells and Mine pools
• Some water wells in coalfields are tapping into
abandoned mine pools.
• Some Mine pools may be relatively good
• Changes in pool level can initiate problems—
can expose a new reactive area in mine.
Surface Mining Control and
Reclamation Act of 1977
• Provides for states to use part of their annual
grant toward providing water supplies to areas
affected by past mining activities.