Presentations

We are gathering an excellent list of presenters. Here are several we have approved. Please stay tuned for more…

“Air Quality Benefits of Mine Land Reclamation Performed by the Coal Refuse Reclamation to Energy Industry”, Jaret Gibbons, ARIPPA

While data exists on water quality improvements provided by coal refuse reclamation to energy plants, as well as coal refuse piles and fires, there is no current information regarding air emissions. For this reason, ARIPPA recently hired consulting firm TRC to develop a study comparing emissions of air pollutants from necessary remediation of existing coal refuse piles to the air pollutants that would otherwise be emitted if there were no operating facilities to remediate them.

The air emissions study will aid ARIPPA in its federal advocacy efforts and help educate the public on the air quality benefits of mine land reclamation performed by the coal refuse reclamation to energy facilities. A final report is expected by September 2021. This presentation will provide an overview of the coal refuse reclamation to energy industry and highlight the results of the air emissions study.

“Overview of OSMRE’s Pittsburgh Field Office”, Eric Cavazza, P.E., OSMRE Pittsburgh Field Office Director

The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSM) is a bureau within the United States Department of the Interior. OSM is responsible for establishing a nationwide program to protect society and the environment from the adverse effects of surface coal mining operations, under which OSM is charged with balancing the nation’s need for continued domestic coal production with protection of the environment.  OSM was created in 1977 when Congress enacted the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA). OSM works with states and tribes to ensure that citizens and the environment are protected during coal mining and that the land is restored to beneficial use when mining is finished. OSM and its partners are also responsible for reclaiming and restoring lands and water degraded by mining operations before 1977.  OSM is organized with Headquarters located in Washington DC, and three regional offices – the Appalachian, Mid-Continent, and Western Regional Offices. The Regional Offices are composed of Area and Field Offices including the Pittsburgh Field Office (PFO).  The OSM PFO is located with the Appalachian Region and oversees the coal mining regulatory (SMCRA Title V) and the Abandoned Mine Land or AML (SMCRA Title IV) programs in the states of Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. This presentation will provide an overview of the Pittsburgh Field Office including its organization, responsibilities, and functions.

“Troubleshooting the Tanoma Passive Treatment System”, Jon Smoyer, PA DEP BAMR

This presentation provides a case study overview of the Tanoma Passive Treatment system in the context of trying to determine the true iron oxidation rate and retention time of the system.  The Tanoma passive treatment system was constructed in 2000 to treat the Tanoma borehole which is situated directly on the stream bank of Crooked Creek.  The Tanoma discharge is large volume alkaline-iron mine drainage with flows often exceeding 2500 gpm and single-digit iron concentrations (7 to 9 mg/L ferrous iron).  The passive treatment system encompasses 10.4 acres, of which, approximately 6.7 acres are actual pond and wetland surface area.  Despite the large size, utilizing all the space available, and the seemingly benign chemistry the treatment system has always discharged enough iron (1.5 to 2.0 mg/L ferrous iron and 3 to 5 mg/L total iron) to continue to deposit large volumes of iron on the bottom of Crooked Creek below the treatment system outfall.  The treatment system is not large enough to oxidize and settle the iron. Iron oxidation kinetics and the subtleties of large volume, alkaline-iron treatment are presented to explain the level of treatment of the system. 

“Datashed 3.0 2021 Update1“, Cliff Denholm, Stream Restoration Incorporated

Acid mine drainage (AMD) is one of the largest sources of pollution in Pennsylvania with over 5,500 miles of streams currently impaired.  Across Pennsylvania, watershed groups, government agencies, and other organizations are working to restore these streams by completing land reclamation projects and constructing water treatment systems.  Once these projects are constructed, they need to be monitored to make sure they continue to work properly and identify when maintenance is needed to ensure long-term sustained improvements of water quality. 

To help support these efforts, Stream Restoration Incorporated created Datashed (www.datashed.org), a free, open-source, web-based, GIS-enabled database that functions as a maintenance and data management tool.  The website can store a variety of information related to both individual projects and overall watershed restoration efforts including water quality data, documents, maps, engineering design drawings, treatment technologies, photographs, etc.  Datashed provides an open centralized repository to preserve this important information so that anyone with internet access can view, print, or download.  User accounts are only needed for approved users who will be adding or editing the stored information.  The website provides students, researchers, citizen scientists, and engineers with real data from existing treatment systems to conduct research and improve designs.  Datashed can also be utilized for education/outreach efforts of watershed groups to highlight their projects and provides a certain level of transparency as funding agencies are able to observe the effectiveness of the projects.   The presentation will provide an update on the status of the newest version of Datashed 3.0, planned future improvements, and availability of upcoming training events.

Request for Presentations

The conference planning committee is now requesting proposals for presentations. We encourage a wide range of topic submissions, including but not limited to:
• New abandoned mine drainage (AMD) treatment system technologies, tools, and products
• Construction case studies and lessons learned
• Land remediation, reforestation, and reuse
• Water quality monitoring
• Operations, maintenance, and rehabilitation of treatment systems
• Non-profit organization capacity issues
• Community involvement, special events, education, and outreach
• Coal mining history and heritage preservation
• Mapping, drones, equipment, and other helpful new technologies
• Legislative updates and concerns at all levels of government
• Economic redevelopment, health and safety, and quality of life topics
• Climate change, energy, and AMD

In the past, we have had such varied topics as the history of baseball in coal patch towns, prevention of Lyme disease, preserving collieries, computer software designed technologies, reauthorization of the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Fund, economic benefits of reclamation, abandoned mine land issues in Germany and Bolivia, the establishment and support of non-profit organizations, and everything in between. If your topic can be related to what our community does, we would love to consider it for our 23rd annual conference!

If you are interested in making a presentation, please submit an abstract for review. Submissions should be no longer than one page in length and include the presenter’s name, title, and organization. Please also include a 1-paragraph bio for the presenter. Submissions and questions should be emailed to Anne Daymut at anne@wpcamr.org by July 16, 2021.