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OSMRE invites beta testing of acid mine drainage tool

Date: August 17, 2022
Contact: getinfo@osmre.gov (202) 208-2565

Revised software compares treatment methods, incorporates long-term operation and maintenance 

WASHINGTON – As part of its efforts to protect communities and the environment from the toxic impacts of reclaimed coal mines, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement invites industry leaders, environmental groups, states, and Tribes to beta test a newly revised software tool that estimates the cost of treating acid mine drainage (AMD). Beta testing will run through November 30, 2022.

AMDTreat 6.0 is long awaited and contains significant upgrades that will help users calculate more accurate immediate and long-term operations and maintenance costs for treating acid mine drainage,” said Jeff Ream, the project lead and a civil engineer in OSMRE’s Technical Support Division. “AMDTreat users will get estimates based on validated data and real-world treatment systems, allowing them to make the most cost-effective and efficient treatment strategies.”

The new version of AMDTreat better estimates the long-term replacement, operation, and maintenance costs of water treatment processes, and it includes enhancements such as a geochemical model to better predict wastewater effluent quality.

The revised software: 

  • Incorporates the USGS PHREEQC software to geochemically model mine drainage treatment.
  • Factors in replacement and maintenance costs.
  • Estimates the adequacy of existing system designs.  
  • Optimizes new system designs to ensure selection of the most economic and environmentally protective system. 

The launch of the AMDTreat beta test comes on the heels of the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law enacted on November 15, 2021. The law provides nearly $11.3 billion to address abandoned mine land (AML) sites and enhances the ability of states and Tribes to treat AMD by allowing AML funds to be used to design, build, operate, and maintain acid mine drainage treatment facilities that are not in conjunction with a Priority 1 or Priority 2 site or within a qualified hydrologic unit.

OSMRE collaborated with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and USGS to develop AMDTreat 6.0.

Learn more about AMDTreat and register to be a beta tester

– OSMRE –

OSMRE carries out the requirements of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 in cooperation with states and Tribes. OSMRE’s objectives are to ensure that coal mining activities are conducted in a manner that protects citizens and the environment during mining, to ensure that the land is restored to beneficial use after mining, and to mitigate the effects of past mining by aggressively pursuing reclamation of abandoned coal mines.