Sedimentation Pond Removal in Eastern Ohio Coal Mining

by Stan Vitton, Univ of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, United States,
Jeff Anderlee, Univ of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Geotechnical Practice in Dam Rehabilitation


Due to the large number of sedimentation ponds used in surface coal mining, efficient, economical, and environmentally acceptable methods for sedimentation pond removal and reclamation are required once mining has been completed. Currently, surface mining regulations require that the design and construction of sedimentation ponds be certified by a professional engineer. However, removal of ponds, including disposal of accumulated sediment, is often accomplished by field personnel, generally without the involvement of a professional engineer. Recent concerns about the environmental impacts of pond removal have prompted both industry as well as government regulators to consider alternate means of dealing with the adverse effects of pond removal. One alternative is to not remove the pond but to leave it in its post-mining condition for recreational or agricultural uses or for the possible establishment of a wetlands. However, for ponds that must be removed, it has been recommended that this process now be certified by a professional engineer so that the long term stability of the reclaimed pond site and impacts to downstream areas are considered. This paper presents some of the problems associated with sedimentation pond removal and reclamation and presents two methods being used in Eastern Ohio for pond removal. One method involves ponds constructed on hillsides, while the other method has been developed for ponds constructed in valley bottoms. Both methods involve disposing of the pond sediment at the pond site itself and have been successfully used in the field.

Subject Headings: Ponds | Coal mining | Sediment | Mines and mining | Professional development | Economic factors | Laws and regulations | Construction management | Ohio | United States

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