Acid Mine Drainage Abatement and Treatment (AMDAT)
The AMDAT plan is the process for selecting and prioritizing restoration projects and involves the following components:
- Identification of the Hydrologic Unit
- Identifying the extent of the AMD affect on water quality and Biologic resources
- Identifying the sources of AMD
- Identifying individual projects and methods of abatement
- Developing the cost for proposed abatement strategy
- Identifying existing and proposed funding sources
- Analyzing cost-effectiveness and environmental benefits of projects
AMDATs have been created for three areas of concern in the Raccoon Creek Watershed; Raccoon Creek Headwaters, Raccoon Creek Middle Basin, and Little Raccoon Creek. View AMDATs for the Raccoon Creek Watershed, and others, at the link below:
The Raccoon Creek Headwaters study includes all area that drains into the mainstem from river mile 111.9 (the confluence of the East and West Branches of Raccoon Creek) to river mile 80.6 (the bridge over Raccoon Creek on US route 50) covering 200 square miles. The basin extends into Athens, Hocking and Vinton Counties. According to the Biological and Water Quality Study of the Raccoon Creek Basin (1995), written by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA), the leading cause of partial or non-attainment of water quality designations is Acid Mine Drainage (AMD). From the confluence of the East and West Branches to the discharge of Sandy Run (Lake Hope) the stream is designated as Limited Resource Water due to AMD and only partially meets this OEPA designated benchmark. The OEPA Raccoon Creek basin study states that the headwaters are substantially affected by the impacts of mining in the East Branch. The remainder of the mainstem is designated as Warmwater Habitat and meets this benchmark.
The Acid Mine Drainage Abatement and Treatment Plan supports this finding along with the identification of prioritized projects in the Brushy Creek, Mainstem to Brushy Creek section, Hewett Fork and West Branch subwatersheds. It is hoped that the completion of reclamation and the application of abatement strategies at the identified locations will lead to significant and immediate response of the biologic resources and overall health of the stream. This plan attempts to reach this goal by applying strategies that provide the appropriate level of technology and are cost effective.
The Raccoon Creek Middle Basin study includes all area that drains into the mainstem from River Mile 80.6 to river Mile 37.5. This report assesses 184 square miles of drainage area, encompassing two major sub-watersheds and several smaller tributaries. The basin extends into Athens, Hocking and Vinton Counties. According to several published studies, including two USGS reports and a 1996 report by the Raccoon Creek Project Partners, Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) is the leading source of impairment and aquatic habitat degradation in the Middle Basin. Pierce Run is consistently identified in these studies as a significant source of AMD. Previous biological assessment of the Middle Basin in 1981 and 1995 identified AMD-related impairments in Strongs Run, Rockcamp Run, and Pierce Run, and indicated that these streams were in partial- or non-attainment of the Warmwater Habitat (WWH) biocriteria.
The Middle Basin Acid Mine Drainage Abatement and Treatment (AMDAT) Plan supports these findings, and identifies prioritized projects in the Pierce Run and Rockcamp Run sub-watersheds. It is hoped that the completion of reclamation and the application of abatement strategies at the identified locations will lead to significant and immediate response of the biologic resources and overall health of the stream. This plan attempts to reach this goal by applying strategies that provide the appropriate level of technology and are cost effective.
The Little Raccoon Creek Watershed (LRC) is approximately 155 square miles in area and is largest tributary to the Raccoon Creek. It represents many of the characteristics that are seen in watersheds across the Appalachian coalfields. Those characteristics cover a host of social and environmental issues including the effects of underground and surface mining that has occurred over the past century. The effect can be seen in the degradation of a streams habitat and water quality from the highly acidic and metal laden water commonly referred to as Acid Mine Drainage (AMD).
The LRC Watershed has been the focus of a restoration project since the early 1990’s. The project is the result of the shared work of a citizens group, the Raccoon Creek Improvement Committee (RCIC), and government agencies charged with managing our natural resources. Other partners include several divisions of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD), Local Resource Conservation and Development Councils, and Universities. From the earliest stages of the project the partners knew that a full characterization of the watershed was needed to establish the extent AMD problem. A few small AMD abatement projects have been undertaken in the watershed. It did not take the partners long to realize the importance of and need for a plan to resolve the AMD problem. As a result the Little Raccoon Creek Acid Mine Drainage Abatement and Treatment Plan (AMDAT) has been produced.