2002 Denver Annual Meeting (October 27-30, 2002)

Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 8:30 AM


DAVIS, Carrie E.1, STOERTZ, Mary1 and FARLEY, Mitch2, (1)Department of Geological Sciences, Ohio Univ, 316 Clippinger Labs, Athens, OH 45701, (2)Division of Mineral Resources Management, Ohio Dept. of Nat Rscs, 34 Portsmouth St, Jackson, OH 45640, davis_carrie_e@hotmail.com

The Buckeye Furnace Reclamation Project in Jackson County, Ohio, combines source control measures and passive treatment methods to reduce acid mine drainage (AMD). Prior to reclamation, this 65-acre complex of abandoned coal mines and refuse piles contributed over 3700 pounds/day of acidity to Buffer Run. Rapid sedimentation of fine refuse materials into the stream channel greatly increased the flooding potential of Buffer Run and the surrounding areas, including public roads. Average daily loadings before reclamation for iron and aluminum were 790 pounds and 273 pounds, respectively. The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of the reclamation project as a whole and in terms of its constituent parts.

Reclamation at Buckeye Furnace consisted of first recontouring and soil capping the coal refuse to prevent excessive erosion and the installation of two retention ponds. Capping the reshaped refuse pile with a low-permeability clay cover reduced infiltration of precipitation into the pile. Three ponds serving as major sources of recharge to the pile were removed from the upland pile area. Emplacement of paper sludge (Mead BY-PRO) over the cap served as an organic layer in which plants could root. The revegetation of the reclaimed refuse pile was intended to reduce erosion and stabilize the soil cap. Passive treatment methods used at this site include: open limestone channels to stabilize constructed channels; an anoxic limestone drain (ALD) to increase alkalinity and pH; a successive alkalinity-producing system (SAPS), which raises alkalinity and facilitates precipitation of metals; and steel slag leach beds. High quality steel slag obtained from a Mingo Junction, Ohio, steel mill was used as pond liner in an alkaline recharge system, created to contribute large amounts of alkalinity to Buffer Run.

Post-reclamation data has not been fully analyzed, but preliminary results indicate an accomplishment of the project goals: the reduction of local flooding and AMD pollution in Buffer Run and its receiving stream, Little Raccoon Creek. Flooding has been reduced and daily acid loading dropped 82 percent (from 3732 pounds to 661 pounds). Iron loadings dropped to 194 pounds/day (75 percent reduction) and aluminum loadings were reduced to 46 pounds/day (83 percent).