AMR – Abandoned Mine Reclamation
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Reclamation is the process of resolving problems such as mine fires, mine subsidence, dangerous highwalls and other hazards which have resulted from past mining practices, and for abating or treating acid mine drainage from abandoned mines. Activities usually include a lot of dirt moving to backfill pits and regrade culm piles to return the land back to its approximate original contour. Mine shafts are also backfilled and mine fires are dug up and quenched. Priorities are given to hazards that are closer to population centers to reduce the threat of injury or even death.
There are several programs that are used to in Pennsylvania to reclaim and restore minelands to a productive use (here are a few):
- SMCRA Title 4 “AML Trust Fund” program administrated by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation (PA DEP BAMR)
- Mine-Scarred Lands Initiative administered by the Brownfields Federal Partnership
- Reprocessing mountainous culm piles, burning them at a Co Generation Power Plant then filling dangerous pits and burying highwalls with the ash.
- Rural Abandoned Mine Land Program (RAMP) administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The program has not been funded since 2001 and was removed from the budget when SMCRA was reauthorized in 2006.