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Acid Mine Drainage Treatment
ARMY ENGINEER WATERWAYS EXPERIMENT STATION VICKSBURG MS
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Contaminated water flowing from abandoned coal mines is one of the most significant contributors to water pollution in former and current coal-producing areas. Acid mine drainage AMD can have severe impacts to aquatic resources, can stunt terrestrial plant growth and harm wetlands, contaminate groundwater, raise water treatment costs, and damage concrete and metal structures. In the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States alone, more than 7,500 miles of streams are impacted. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission estimates that the economic losses on fisheries and recreational uses are approximately 67 million annually. While most modern coal-mining operations Figure 1 must meet strict environmental regulations concerning mining techniques and treatment practices, there are thousands of abandoned mine sites in the United States Figure 2. Treatment of a single site can result in the restoration of several miles of impacted streams. The purpose of this document is to briefly summarize key issues related to AMD treatment. This document is intended as a brief overview thus, it is neither inclusive nor exhaustive. The technical note presents the preliminary planning issues
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