U.S. EPA Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division
Characterization, Cleanup, and Revitalization of Mining Sites

Resources


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General Information | Characterization and Remediation | Mine Pools | Revitalization and Redevelopment | Radioactive Materials

Click on the items below to access reports, papers, and website links that provide further information on the topics of Characterization and Remediation, Mine Pools, Revitalization and Redevelopment, Radioactive Materials as well as General Information related to mining sites.

General Information

  • Abandoned Mine Lands Portal. The Abandoned Mine Lands Portal is a partnership that spans federal, state and local efforts and is dedicated to raising awareness about abandoned mine lands.
  • EPA Abandoned Mine Lands Program. This website identifies EPA resources related to the range of environmental risks and challenges from abandoned mine lands, as well as risk management approaches.
  • The Global Acid Rock Drainage Guide. The International Network for Acid Prevention (INAP) and the Global Alliance have consolidated available scientific and guidance to develop the GARD Guide as a practical reference on best practices in minimizing the impacts of acid rock drainage (ARD) from mining sites. Designed primarily for a scientist or engineer with a reasonable background in chemistry and the basics of but with little specific knowledge of ARD, this compendium of the concepts, techniques, and processes has been prepared as a road map through the process of evaluating, planning, design, and management of ARD over the lifecycle of mining. The guide also provides references to identify more detailed information for those seeking specifics on ARD technologies and approaches. Initiated in 2009, the GARD Guide is still a work in progress. The GARD website provides for reader input, and all comments are welcome.
  • Mine Waste Issues in the United States: A White Paper developed by the Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council (ITRC).Adobe PDF Logo This paper highlights the four areas that states and industries consider most important to address: pollution prevention, waste management, remediation and reuse, and legacy management. It also introduces innovative solutions to historical and current environmental problems in the industry.
  • Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM). OSM is responsible for establishing a nationwide program to protect society and the environment from the adverse effects of surface coal mining operations.

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Characterization and Remediation

  • Brownfields Technology Primer: Mine Site Cleanup for Brownfields Redevelopment. Adobe PDF Logo The Primer provides information about approaches that have been used for redevelopment of mining sites, as well as new and innovative approaches to more efficiently characterize and clean up those sites.
  • Investigative Strategies for Lead-Source Attribution at Superfund Sites Associated with Mining Activities. Identification of potentially responsible parties is complicated because Superfund sites can have a long history of use and involve contaminants that can have many sources. Such is often the case for mining sites that involve metal contamination; metals occur naturally in the environment, they can be contaminants in the wastes generated at or released from the sites, and they can be used in consumer products, which can degrade and release the metals back to the environment. This report examines the extent to which various sources contribute to environmental lead contamination at Superfund sites that are near lead-mining areas and focuses on sources that contribute to lead contamination at sites near the Southeast Missouri Lead Mining District. It recommends potential improvements in approaches used for assessing sources of lead contamination at or near Superfund sites.
  • Mine Waste Characterization Project, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS has taken a multidisciplinary approach to assemble, develop, and refine methods and tools for characterizing and screening weathered solid mine wastes. Tools developed from this work can be used in ranking and prioritizing historical mining waste piles.
  • Mining Waste Treatment Technology Selection. Developed by ITRC, this site assists project managers in selecting an applicable technology or suite of technologies that can be used to remediate sites contaminated by mining waste. Each technology is described, along with a summary of the applicability, advantages, limitations, performance, stakeholder and regulatory considerations, and lessons learned from past applications.
  • National Technology Development and Transfer Website, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM). OSM's Technology Development and Transfer Program supports and enhances the technical skills that states and tribes need to operate their regulatory and reclamation programs and to effectively implement the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.
  • Office of Technology Transfer, Colorado School of Mines. This website provides links to fact sheets on available technologies developed by the school's faculty and students, a list of resources on technology transfer, and links to the school's latest research publications.
  • Operation and Maintenance of Passive Acid Mine Drainage Treatment Systems: A Framework for Watershed Groups. Adobe PDF Logo This report proposes a systematic framework for developing and maintaining AMD projects. It lists things to try when developing new projects, observing completed projects, or coming back to projects with problems. Successes and failures in passive AMD treatment systems have led to improvements in design of treatment measures, rules for selecting and sizing them, and methods to refurbish them when needed. A lifespan of 20 years is rare, but several projects have done well for five to seven years, lost efficacy, and resumed function after rejuvenation. This report aims to encourage watershed groups to develop plans for project operation and maintenance and resources to carry out those plans.
  • Planning for Response Actions at Abandoned Mines with Underground Workings: Best Practices for Preventing Sudden, Uncontrolled Fluid Mining Waste Releases (OLEM 9200.3-118). Adobe PDF Logo The Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation and the Office of Emergency Management recommend applying these best practices, as appropriate, when carrying out EPA-lead activities under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act at hardrock mining and mineral processing sites with underground mine workings posing actual or potential fluid release hazards (July 2017, 70 pages).
  • Reference Guide to Treatment Technologies for Mining-Influenced Water. Adobe PDF Logo This report highlights select mining-influenced water (MIW) treatment technologies used or piloted as part of remediation efforts at mine sites. It is intended to provide information on treatment technologies for MIW to federal, state and local regulators, site owners and operators, consultants, and other stakeholders. Included in the report are short descriptions of treatment technologies and information on the contaminants treated, pre-treatment requirements, long-term maintenance needs, performance, and costs. Sample sites illustrate considerations associated with selecting a technology. Website links and sources for more information on each topic are also included. This fact sheet provides more detail on the information included in the report Adobe PDF Logo and a searchable library of summary information for the technologies discussed in the body of the report, as well as additional technologies or products designed as passive or low cost treatment options, is available.

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Mine Pools

Mine pools are groundwater that has accumulated in the voids left by mining activities. Click to expand the list of resources.

Characterization and Remediation

Case Studies

  • Basin Mining Area OU6 (Bullion Mine), Final Volume 1: Focused Remedial Investigation Basin Mining Area OU6 (Bullion Mine), Final Volume 2: Focused Feasibility Study. These EPA reports detail the focused remedial investigation (RI) and draft feasibility study (FS) that were performed on Operable Unit 6 at the Bullion Mine site, which is located within the Basin Mining Area National Priorities List site near Basin, Montana. The RI characterizes the nature and extent of contamination, describes the fate and transport of contaminants, and presents the results of screening level risk assessment of risks to human health and the environment in sufficient detail to support the development, evaluation, and selection of appropriate remedial alternatives. The draft FS provides a structured means to identify, develop and evaluate remedial alternatives to eliminate, prevent, reduce, or control human health and/or environmental risks identified during the RI, and contribute to compliance with CERCLA.
  • Black Pine Mine Granite County, Montana. Environmental monitoring data and other relevant information from the Black Pine Mine have been compiled to provide an overview of past monitoring activities/results and current site conditions to aid in future site use and reclamation planning.
  • Formosa Mine Superfund Site, Douglas County, Oregon: Final OU1 Remedial Investigation Report. EPA's final remedial investigation (RI) report for Operable Unit 1 (OU1) at the Formosa Mine Superfund site in Douglas County, Oregon, characterizes physical characteristics, nature and extent of contamination, fate and transport processes, and risks to human health and ecological receptors in sufficient detail to support the feasibility study (FS). This RI report is focused on OU1, but also describes data associated with OU2.
  • Investigative Methods for Controlling Groundwater Flow to Underground Mine Workings.
    The web-based document of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service discusses hydrological/hydrogeological, soil and vegetation, and geoscientific methods for investigating groundwater source areas and illustrates how these methods were applied during investigations of the Elkhorn and Charter Oak Mines, Montana.
  • Keystone Potato Products' Mine Pool Treatment System Expansion Project. Adobe PDF Logo This document briefly discusses Keystone Potato Products' project to design, construct and install a treatment system for mine-impacted well water, which it extracts for plant operations. High levels of iron and manganese in the extracted water (average of 3 million gallons monthly) fouled plant processes, put Keystone in violation of its NPDES wastewater discharge permit, and contributed to the impairment of the Swatara Creek watershed. The new system operates 'in front' of the previously existing greensand filtration system and effectively removes 10 pounds per day of iron and one pound per day of manganese.
  • Management and Control of Abandoned Mine Pool Discharges: Pennsylvania Case Studies Workshop. Adobe PDF Logo This paper presented at the 29th Annual National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs Conference provides a series of case studies that highlight various approaches for treatment and reuse of mine pool waters at mining sites in Pennsylvania.
  • Technical Memorandum: Reopening of the Portals of the Lower Spaulding Adit and the McLaren Adit or Winter Tunnel. Adobe PDF Logo The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service technical memorandum describes the reopening of two caved adits within Montana's Custer Gallatin National Forest in order to conduct preliminary assessments of water in-flows prior to designing and constructing long-term adit closures. One of these is the Lower Spaulding Adit located on the southern flank of Scotch Bonnet Mountain, north of the Como Pit; and the other is the McLaren Adit, or Winter Tunnel, located at the northwest end of the McLaren Pit.

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Data

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Other Resources

  • Prioritisation of Abandoned Non-Coal Mine Impacts on the Environment. This Environment Agency, UK, report presents an evaluation of the water-related impacts of abandoned non-coal mines across England and Wales. This assessment was carried out to prioritize the rivers in England and Wales where contamination from these mines has the highest impact and where there is the greatest risk that water bodies will fail to meet the objectives of the Water Framework Directive due to abandoned non-coal mines. The report shows the scale of environmental issues associated with abandoned non-coal mines, as well as illustrates the specific nature of these problems and the areas of England and Wales where such problems are most acute.

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Revitalization and Redevelopment

  • Abandoned Mine Lands Revitalization and Reuse Website, U.S. EPA. As part of EPA's commitment to finding innovative and effective solutions to the potential threats abandoned mine lands pose to human health and the environment, significant attention is being focused on potential future uses of these lands and the economic, environmental, and social benefits that reuse can provide.
  • Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative. The Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative is a coalition of groups, including citizens, the coal industry, and government dedicated to restoring forests on coal mined lands in the Eastern United States.
  • RE-Powering America's Land: Siting Renewable Energy on Potentially Contaminated Land and Mine Sites. EPA encourages renewable energy development on current and formerly contaminated land and mine sites when it is aligned with the community's vision for the site. This initiative identifies the renewable energy potential of these sites and provides other useful resources for communities, developers, industry, state and local governments or anyone interested in reusing these sites for renewable energy development.
  • Soil Amendments. This page discusses soil-related issues, including soil health and the use of soil amendments to revitalize soils in order to make them suitable for sustaining plant life or development.
  • Soil and Landscape Rehabilitation: Reclamation — Remediation — Restoration — Revegetation — Revitalization (Publications). This page contains a list of and provides access to publications by a research team comprised of research scientists, graduate students, staff and faculty working in the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. The research and associated publications focus on coal mined land reclamation and associated water quality issues, wetland creation & restoration, acid sulfate soil remediation, roadside revegetation, dredge spoil utilization, manufactured soil production, by-product screening, and an array of related research based in environmental soil science.

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Radioactive Materials

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