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Acid mine drainage

            Thinking, not Stinking: AMD and Mine Reclamation.
             Our water supply is dying from Acid Mine Drainage (AMD). AMD damages our ecosystem by killing our fish, disrupting nearby wildlife, and making the water poison to us for drinking. Acid Mine Drainage is water leaving surface or subsurface mines enriched in acid. Abandoned Mine Reclamation is the way we can rectify this problem.
             In the past decades, mining has been an important industry in Pennsylvania. Within the past twenty years many of the mining companies have closed. This has resulted in the leaving behind of boreholes, open mineshafts, slag piles, and AMD. .
             Deep mines underlay much of the land in Butler and surrounding counties. When the mining companies closed up shop, they either left the portals to the mines open or sealed them shut. With time water flowing through the earth floods the mines and dissolves the various elements contained within the coal and earth. When the entrance of the mine is not sealed, the water rises above the opening and pollutes nearby water bodies, as seen in Slippery Rock and Brush Creek. Open mine shafts not only create AMD but they also create safety hazards such as humans and wildlife falling in. When they are sealed shut other problems arise such as boreholes.
             Bore holes are conceived when the deep mine portals are sealed shut and pressure builds up in the mines themselves. The polluted water needs to escape; it is much like a pressure cooker on your stove. This escape of pressure results in boreholes occurring mostly in stream and riverbeds. Coal waste piles are the byproducts of coal mining. These giant piles of rock still contain some scrap coal and other metals. The oxidizing of the metals underneath contaminates our ground water. .
             Over one half of our 2,400 miles of our streams and waterways are polluted, meaning that they do not meet water quality standards, due to AMD. Butler County alone has more than 3,000 acres of abandoned mines that are polluting our waterways.

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