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News Release

9 August 2007
GSA Release No. 07-26

Contact: Christa Stratton

Abandoned Mines on Public Lands: Cleaning Up is Hard to Do

Boulder, CO, USA - Preventing release of toxic materials from abandoned mines on public lands is both a huge problem and a daunting task. Just where does one go for information on how to dispose of contaminants when the only way to access a mine is by helicopter?

Understanding and Responding to Hazardous Substances at Mine Sites in the Western United States, published by the Geological Society of America, documents approaches, techniques, and scientific considerations in cleaning up contamination at historic mines on public lands.

According to editor Jerry DeGraff, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Clovis, California, "Relatively few understand the scope of this problem on public lands and the complexity involved in addressing it. With continued population growth in the West and more people living adjacent to public lands, concern about contamination from abandoned mines has taken on a greater sense of urgency."

The volume begins with an overview of the abandoned mine problem and site conditions that influence remediation strategies. Subsequent chapters address site characterization, specific contaminant issues, impacts of hazardous substance releases, and successful containment responses.

Papers reflect the many challenges associated with remediation on public lands, including difficult physical access to sites and treatments appropriate to remote locations where frequent monitoring and maintenance are not possible. According to DeGraff, the diversity of authors contributing papers also illustrates the variety of government agencies, both federal and state, and private firms working on the issue. The volume is an outgrowth of a symposium organized by DeGraff for the annual meeting of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists held in 2002.

Individual copies of Understanding and Responding to Hazardous Substances at Mine Sites in the Western United States may be purchased through the Geological Society of America online store or by contacting GSA Sales and Service, .

Book editors of earth science journals/publications may request a review copy by contacting Jeanette Hammann at .

Understanding and Responding to Hazardous Substances at Mine Sites in the Western United States
Jerome V. DeGraff (Ed.)
Geological Society of America Reviews in Engineering Geology XVII
2007, 180 pages, US$60.00, GSA member price US$42.00

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