Abandon Mine Drainage is also known as Acid Mine Drainage (AMD). Abandon Mine Drainage or Acid Mine Drainage is the main pollutant of water in the mid-Atlantic region, and its source is mainly abandon mines; although, active coal mines play a part too. This degrades the streams, more than 4,500 miles of them. This kills aquatic life and pollutes the drinking water. It also corrodes infrastructures.
How does the water become so acidic? Good question. The rock that is exposed during coal mining –pyrite and iron sulfide- reacts with the air and water. This creates sulfuric acid and liquefied iron. This is where the funny reddish color comes from, the iron. The acid runoff then dissolves other heavy metals such as lead, copper, and mercury which mixes with the water.
This is a very serious issue. Coal Mining really is poising our water, and the EPA knows about this.
Here is Abandon Mine Drainage – Acid Mine Drainage. This is in the Whitesburg, KY area about 12 miles from where I lived for over seven years. I’m still only about 30 miles from this location.
Photo Credit: Savethewildup