Governmental Involvement at the Federal Level
Starting in the 1930's under the Works Progress Administration (WPA)
program, through the 1970's with "Operation Scarlift," and continuing up to
the present under the various abandoned mine land programs, public agencies
have been actively working to tackle AMD. To bring greater awareness,
attention, and resources to AMD, the Office of Surface Mining (OSM)
Appalachian Clean Streams Initiative (ACSI) and the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) Region 3 Coal Mine Drainage Initiative (CMDI) have
teamed up to provide leadership to a coalition of parties interested in AMD.
In 1995, the coalition developed the Statement of Mutual Intent (SMI)
Strategic Plan. The SMI provides a framework for action to address water
quality problems at abandoned coal mines; more than 80 parties have signed
Objectives of the
Statement of Mutual Intent
Build a clearinghouse to share and exchange data and
information identifying mine drainage sites and catalogue abatement
technologies that can restore water quality adversely affected by AMD.
Raise public awareness about the serious
environmental problems associated with abandoned coal mine drainage.
Focus efforts to target streams degraded by mine
drainage for cleanup.
Work to develop and apply the best technology
available for cleaning up and preventing contaminated mine drainage.
Support an effective remining program to eliminate
some of the mine drainage problems.
Provide forums to transfer technology and other
information about improving and restoring watersheds degraded by mine
Develop shared information management systems to
minimize overlap in data collection and development.
Prepare periodic reports describing the extent and
severity of the mine drainage problem and the current status of ongoing
efforts to improve and restore degraded watersheds.