Keywords: acid mine drainage, benefit assessment, planning balance sheet, water pollution
Dealing with environmental legacy effects: the economic and social benefits of acid mine drainage remediation
This paper is concerned with developing a practical methodology for prioritising measures to ameliorate the environmental problems associated with the abandonment of mine workings. Although much attention is focused on the pollution associated with on-going industrial production, rather fewer resources are going to develop methodologies for handling the environmental legacy effects of our forefathers. Of the work that has been done, much of it tends to focus on single, incomplete measures or benefits. This paper looks at the particular issues of acid mine drainage (AMD) in the USA, and develops a tractable way of approaching the problem of how allocated resources may be prioritised to maximise net social benefits. In particular, it advocates the use of a combination of established methodologies with rather newer statistical procedures to approach the problem. It offers a number of case studies by way of illustration as to how the methodology can be applied.