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

Revitalization and Reuse

Considering the potential future uses of abandoned mine lands is an important part of EPA's commitment to finding innovative and effective approaches to reducing the potential threats that these contaminated lands pose to human health and the environment. EPA recognizes that land reuse often brings economic, environmental, and social benefits to communities, and also may serve as a catalyst for expediting environmental risk reduction. EPA's Abandoned Mine Lands Reuse and Revitalization web page includes links to reports, fact sheets and technical resources related to revitalization of mine lands.

  • The Mine-Scarred Lands Initiative Tool Kit shares what was learned through the Federal Brownfields Partnership's Mine-Scarred Lands Initiative by working with six demonstration projects on hard rock and coal mining sites throughout the country. In addition to the experiences of the six projects, the toolkit includes links to other mine cleanup and reuse resources.
  • Mine Site Cleanup for Brownfields Redevelopment: A Three-part Primer Adobe PDF Logo summarizes the basic issues surrounding mine site cleanup for brownfields redevelopment, including innovative characterization and remediation approaches. The Primer includes detailed technical information about the characterization, remediation, and redevelopment of hard rock and coal mine sites. It is intended for those with an interest in, and knowledge of the technical aspects of redeveloping coal mine sites.
  • EPA developed a series of fact sheets that describe a variety of tools for reuse of former mining sites. While each of these tools may be applicable to only a small percentage of the former mine lands throughout the country, given the number of former mine lands, even a small percentage may represent thousands of actual sites. Individual fact sheets include:
  • RE-Powering America's Lands- EPA is encouraging 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. The site includes a variety of resources, including mapping tools and data for assessing the renewable energy potential for sites.
  • Soil Amendments- Revitalization of a mining site may involve the addition of amendments to the contaminated soil. Soil amendments are materials added to soils in order to revitalize and make them suitable for sustaining plant life or development. Mining sites with contaminated or disturbed soils exhibit a variety of problems that often can be addressed effectively and directly through the use of soil amendments. Project managers could evaluate their effects in the subsurface, their potential for eventual transport to surface waters, and their possible subsequent adverse effects on plant and animal communities.

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