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and associated groups in an effort to find a practical, economical, and effective method of removing the acid contaminants from the mine drainage waters. A number of theories are being reviewed. The most popular approach to the problem has been the neutralization approach. This, however, has its shortcomings in that with the volume of mine water to be treated in a large operation, the cost could be highly unrealistic.
In 1963 the Pennsylvania Coal Research Board began intensive research into various problems confronting the coal industry, with main emphasis placed on pollution control.
And just a few months ago the Northern West Virginia Coal Association announced that it would spend $150,000 for a study of that State's No. 1 water conservation problem-mine acid drainage. This 2-year study will be conducted by the West Virginia University School of Mines with two primary and immediate research objectives:
(1) To discover the sources of pollution and determine corrective measures by which its volume may be reduced; and
(2) To obtain factual engineering and economic data on chemical treatment of mine drainage by actual operation of a field
pilot plant. In the final session of this subcommittee's public hearings, Dr. Abel Wolman, a recognized authority in the field of ecology and pollution control, testified that 35 years ago he had been a member of one of the earlier research teams investigating the discharge of acid waters from mines in the Appalachian area. The project spent $20 million and in Dr. Wolman's words: “We did not succeed and the Bureau of Mines Director pointed out that they have no solution to acid mine wastes." This lends credence to the contention of the coal industry that a great deal more research and study is necessary if the problem of acid mine waste is to be solved. Dr. Wolman agreed that this was a field “where deep seated and prompt research is absolutely essential.”
Much research has been done here by the U.S. Bureau of Mines and by private research organizations, as well as by those institutions supported by the various States. Perhaps there has been too much independent action by the researchers. As one means of eliminating this situation, Bituminous Coal Research, Inc., is cooperating with the Coal Industry Advisory Committee to the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitations Commission in developing a program, to be financed by funds from CIAC with BCR contributions, to set up a coordinating agency whereby all of the various research projects that are now being conducted in the area of mine drainage can be brought together and summarized and evaluated. By this means, the various independent research sponsors can recognize any areas of duplication or conflict and avoid any waste in the funds much needed for the ultimate solving of the problem. On this subject, we would urge that the subcommittee look into the possibility of a recommendation that at least a sizable part of Federal funds that are appropriated to meet the needs of research and pilot plant tests be made available to some of the independent groups that are doing such a dedicated job in this effort to find a way out of the disconcerting maze that presently surrounds every perimeter of the mine drainage continent.
Reclamation of disturbed lands is another area in which the broad concept of environmental conservation is involved. Surface mining for minerals and fuels is a mining process in which the surface of the land is removed to permit the taking of the natural resource product. This process, because of its lower cost operation and the recovery of greater quantities of minerals, provides an economical base for the marketing of the product whether it be coal or other material. In many cases, surface mining, or strip mining as it is also known, provides the only way in which large deposits of valuable materials can be obtained. In the operation of this process, there is necessarily a disturbance of the land surface. The coal industry has been often accused of being a poor neighbor for not rehabilitating this disturbed surface. For almost 50 years, however, the industry has been pursuing a voluntary program of reclamation of mined lands. Early in 1900, a request for tree seedlings was made to the Ohio Department of Forestry by a strip mine operator, but it was not until 1918 that we have any substantive evidence of this program. Then an Indiana operator planted an area in fruit trees, some of which are continuing to bear today. In 1920, in Illinois, the use of mined lands for timber
roduction was instituted. In 1928, the Indiana strip operators organized into a group which, for the first time sponsored a program of statewide planting of lands. This effort has continued and has been so successful that today practically every responsible operator in the 22 States where surface mining is conducted is engaged in a program of land reclamation. Many of these lands are converted into recreational areas, homesites, shopping centers, and agricultural and grazing lands, in addition to the many acres which are devoted to timber protection and wildlife and bird propagation and protection. One of the major contributions which the industry's reclamation effort is making is providing water impoundments, ponds, and lakes which contribute to the source of waters for all purposes of the community.
As evidence of the industry's sincerity in the land reclamation effort, in 1962 the responsible members of the industry joined together into a voluntary organization for the purpose of encouraging, promoting, and developing the program of reclamation of mined lands. This organization—the Mined Land Conservation Conference - (an affiliate of the National Coal Association) has done much to improve the land reclamation program and provide new knowledge and practices to aid in more effective and economical methods of reclaiming mined lands. A major assist in this field is given by the MLCC Technical Committee made up of experts in all of the scientific and technical fields that are in any way connected with the adaptation of mined lands for purposes of community and economical uses. This committee serves not only the individual and group members of the MLCC but is also avail. able without cost to all types of governmental agencies, including this committee, for such advisory or consulting services as may be helpful. In its effort to further the cause of land reclamation and utilization, the conference has instituted a voluntary industry program of surface mine conservation. The principal tenets of this code include the following:
Dispose of all refuse in a manner that will prevent stream pollution.
Prevent acid drainage both during and after the mining operaWhere final-cut lakes are not created, cover all toxic materials in the final-cut pit.
Place pit cleaning and other highly toxic materials where they may be easily covered with clear overburden. These practices are followed by the majority of the strip mine operators in their day-to-day operations.
In closing this statement, I would like to call the attention of the committee to what we consider to be a most important reference in the report of the Research Management Advisory Panel. This was the discussion of the need for industrial research laboratories to participate to a greater extent in the development of pollution control methods, and the role of the Federal Government in encouraging this participation. And here I quote directly from the report:
The Federal Government routinely purchases research and development results from industry, more or less as a product. The data are used in the performance of agency missions as a basis for regulation and control administration, and for dissemination to local and state governments.
In the pollution field, however, Federal research funds, for the most part, are spent intramurally or in non-profit universities and institutes. For example, it is estimated that only about one million dollars out of sixteen million dollars for fiscal year 1967 air pollution research is spent in industrial laboratories.
The Federal roles in waste management technology seem to be, first, stimulus to industry to speed development, and second, the establishment of the yard. stick to gage whether the state of art is ready for regulation and control meas
The direct contracting with industry for research and development on broadly applicable devices and techniques is a desirable part of the overall Federal effort in pollution.
The ultimate test of any process developed for the control of pollutants will be a full-scale installation at an operating plant, mine, etc., where the pollutant is being produced. Such installations will involve the expenditures of many millions of dollars—a large capital investment in a nonprofit operation. This will necessarily defer capital investment in other areas, which would ultimately lead to the expansion of our industrial economy. We urge that the committee give careful attention to the full report of the Research Management Advisory Panel, but also give special attention to those portions which recommend Federal Government financial assistance to industry in the development and application of pollution control methods.
(À 28-page detailed statement was received from the Advanced Products Division, VACCO Industries, South El Monte, Calif. This statement, copy of which is in the committee file, deals with the design, development, and test of a device to maximize combustion efficiency in internal combustion automotive engines.)
HEARINGS DEC 20 luca
AD HOC SUBCOMMITTEE
COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND ASTRONAUTICS U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
H.R. 17424 and H.R. 17598
SEPTEMBER 20, 21, AND 22, 1966
Printed for the use of the Committee on Science and Astronautics
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1966
IL NO: 1 kb v.
TITEL STAES OF AM