D’Appolonia has prepared more than 100 mine reclamation plans. Abandoned mine lands are frequently characterized by steep and unvegetated spoil, rock and refuse materials where drainage is poor or uncontrolled, resulting in erosion and downstream sedimentation problems. Frequently, topsoil is not available, and topsoil amendments or substitutes are necessary for effectively establishing vegetation. Other problem conditions can include landslides, acid mine drainage, fires, and safety and structural hazards due to shafts or mine subsidence. We typically employ the following strategies in addressing these problems:

  • Develop grading plans that provide stable slopes capable of supporting vegetation and result
    in balanced cut and fill, making use of site materials that complement drainage control plans.

  • Develop drainage control plans that convey runoff around steep slopes in stable channels and
    that protect reclamation work from erosion with linings requiring minimum maintenance.

  • Develop sedimentation control plans consistent with the limited space typically available for
    ponds and sediment traps at property perimeters.

  • Use on-site materials for containment or isolation of acid-producing strata.

  • Use topsoil substitutes or amendments including biosolids, if advantageous for establishing vegetation.

  • Use on-site materials to the extent possible to deal with issues such as landslides, fires, etc.

Site-specific data acquisition is important but can be costly for reclamation projects. D'Appolonia has a reputation for efficient and innovative exploration programs, including the use of surface geophysical surveys to characterize bedrock conditions and locate mined-out and backfilled areas. Through the use of such techniques, we are able to collect critical site data in a cost-effective manner and preserve financial resources for design and construction.

Construction activity at site with mine waste embankments and ponds.

Some representative D'Appolonia projects related to mine land reclamation are described in the following:


Reclamation of Coal Refuse Site Using Bio-Solids Application

D’Appolonia was retained to prepare a reclamation plan for a 72-acre site with unreclaimed waste embankments and ponds. A lack of sufficient stockpiled or readily available site soils mad traditional reclamation methods impractical. D'Applonia's reclamation plan incorporated innovative measures utilizing bio-solids applied to regraded coal refuse to achieve revegetation.

Environmental Assessment of the Blackwood Mine Site

D’Appolonia was retained by the Pennsylvania Department of Military Affairs (PADMA) to perform an environmental site assessment in accordance with ASTM E 1527. Subsequently, D'Appolonia was retained by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADER) Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation to prepare a plan for reclamation of the site.