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A WA .'v' - =um=MENTS Risks, Responses, and Alternatives Committee on Coal Waste Impoundments Committee on Earth Resources Board on Earth Sciences and Resources Division on Earth and Life Studies National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.
NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by an agreement between the National Academy o Sciences and the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authoress and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for this project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-08251-X Library of Congress Control Number 2001097318 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Ave., NW Box 285 Washington, DC 20055 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area) ht1~://www.nap.edu Cover: Original illustration by Van Nguyen. Copyright 2002 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
National Academy of Sciences National Acaclemy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Council The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical makers. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration arid in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of . . . . engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. . . .
COMMITTEE ON COAL WASTE IMPOUNDMENTS FRANKLIN M. ORR, JR., Chair, Stanford University, California GARY A. DAVIS, University of Tennessee, Knoxville BARBARA A. FILAS, Knight Piesold Consulting, Denver, Colorado C. DAVID HENRY, Beard Technologies, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania NORBERT R. MORGENSTERN, University of Alberta (emeritus), Independent Consultant, Edmonton, Alberta DAVID A. NEWMAN, Appalachian Mining and Engineering, Inc., Lexington, Kentucky RAJA V. RAMANI, Pennsylvania State University, University Park ROBERT L. SCHUSTER, U.S. Geological Survey (emeritus), Independent Consultant, Denver, Colorado MADAN M. S[NGH, Engineers International, Inc., Scottsdale, Arizona DON W. STEEPLES, University of Kansas, Lawrence CLINTON L. STRACHAN, Shepherd Miller Inc., Fort Collins, Colorado RICHARD J. SWEIGARD, University of Kentucky, Lexington JACK TISDALE, Mine Safety and Health Administration (emeritus), Independent Consultant, Chesapeake, Virginia DAVID R. WUNSCH, State Geologist of New Hampshire, Concord NRC Staff TAMARA L. DICKINSON, Study Director KRISTEN L. KRAPF, Research Associate KERI H. MOORE, Research Associate MONICA R. LIPSCOMB, Research Assistant KAREN L. IMHOF, Senior Project Assistant WINFIELD SWANSON, Editorial Consultant IV
COMMITTEE ON EARTH RESOURCES SUSAN M. LANDON, Chair, Thomasson Partner Associates, Denver, Colorado JAMES C. COBB, Kentucky Geological Survey, Lexington VICKI J. COWART, Colorado Geological Survey, Denver GRAHAM A. DAVIS, Colorado School of Mines, Golden P. GEOFFREY FEISS, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia MURRAY W. HITZMAN, Colorado School of Mines, Golden JAMES M. MCELFISH, JR., Environmental Law Institute, Washington, DC DIANNE R. NIELSON, Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Salt Lake City THOMAS J. O 'NEIL, Cleveland-Cliffs, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio RICHARD J. STEGEMEIER, Unocal Corporation, Anaheim, California HUGH P. TAYLOR, JR., California Institute of Technology, Pasadena R. BRUCE TIPPIN, North Carolina State University, Asheville MILTON H. WARD, Ward Resources, Inc., Tucson, Arizona LAWRENCE P. WILDING, Texas A&M University, College Station PHILLIP MICHAEL WRIGHT, Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, Idaho Falls NRC Staff TAMARA L. DICKINSON, Senior Program Officer KERI H. MOORE, Research Associate KAREN L. IMHOF, Senior Project Assistant v
BOARD ON EARTH SCIENCES AND RESOURCES RAYMOND JEANLOZ, Chair, University of California, Berkeley JOHN J. AMORUSO, Amoruso Petroleum Company, Houston, Texas PAUL B. BARTON, JR., U.S. Geological Survey, (emeritus), Reston, Virginia DAVID L. DILCHER, University of Florida, Gainesville BARBARA L. DUTROW, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge ADAM M. DZIEWONSKI, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts WILLIAM L. GRAF, University of South Carolina, Columbia GEORGE M. HORNBERGER, University of Virginia, Charlottesville SUSAN KIEFFER, S.W. Kieffer Science Consulting Inc., Bolton, Ontario DIANNE R. NIELSON, Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Salt Lake City JONATHAN G. PRICE, University of Nevada, Reno BILLIE L. TURNER, II, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts NRC Stay ANTHONY R. DE SOUZA, Director TAMARA L. DICKINSON, Senior Program Officer DAVID A. FEARY, Senior Program Officer ANNE M. LION, Senior Program Officer PAUL M. CUTLER, Program Officer LISA M. VANDEMARK, Program Officer KRISTEN L. KRAPF, Research Associate KERI H. MOORE, Research Associate MONICA R. LIPSCOMB, Research Assistant JENNIFER T. ESTEP, Administrative Associate VERNA J. BOWEN, Administrative Assistant YVONNE P. FORSBERGH, Senior Project Assistant KAREN L. IMHOF, Senior Project Assistant SHANNON L. RUDDY, Project Assistant TERESIA K. WILMORE, Project Assistant WINFIELD SWANSON, Editorial Consultant Vl
This report has been reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC's Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that He report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Richard G. Almes, Almes and Associates, Inc. Joseph Cook, Mine Safety and Health Administration (retired) Albert W. Deurbrouck, Department of Energy (retired) Thomas V. Falkie, Berwind Natural Resources Corporation (retired) J. Steven Gardner, Engineering Consulting Services, Inc. James M. McElfish, Jr., Environmental Law Institute James K. Mitchell, Virginia Polytechnic Institute (emeritus) John Morgan, Morgan Worldwide Gary R. Olhoeft, Colorado School of Mines Syd S. Peng, West Virginia University William W. Woessner, University of Montana Although the individuals listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions and recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by George M. Hornberger, University of Virginia, Ernest H. Ern Professor of Environmental Sciences, and Paul B. Barton, Jr., United States Geological Survey, Geologist Emeritus. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for malting certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely win the authoring committee and the institution. . . vz'
viii Prepublication Version - Subject to Further Editorial Correction
Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1. INTRODUCTION Coal Production and Use in the United States, 17 Advanced Coal Cleaning, 20 Coal Refuse Impoundments in the United States, 23 Disposal of Fine Refuse in Impoundments, 24 Fines Disposal Problems in Other Mining Sectors, 25 Coal Waste Impoundment Failures, 26 Impoundment Hazard Ranking Systems, 31 Study and Report, 32 CURRENT REGULATORY FRAMEWORK Federal Mine Safety and Health Act, 35 Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, 41 Other Federal Laws and State Delegate Programs Relevant to Refuse Disposal Practices, 46 Summary, 49 PLANNING COAL SLURRY REFUSE IMPOUNDMENTS General Impoundment Siting Criteria, 52 Impoundment Design and Construction, 59 Slurry and Water Management, 67 Impoundment System Monitoring, 68 Closure and Reclamation, 69 Summary, 70 IX 17 35 51
4. MrNE MAPPING AND SURVEYING Surface Maps, 71 Underground Mine Mapping, 72 Summary, 84 TECHNOLOGIES FOR LOCATING MINE WORKINGS Drilling, 89 Remote Sensing, 90 Geophysical Methods, 91 Hydraulic Testing, 107 Sllmma~, 109 6. LIMITING POTENTIAL FAILURES Embankment Failure Modes, 112 Basin Failure Modes, 116 Mitigative Measures, 120 Impoun~nent Management, 122 Risk Assessment and Management, 123 Monitoring, 126 Emergency Planning and Risk Communication, 129 ALTERNATIVES FOR FUTURE COAL WASTE DISPOSAL Reducing or Eliminating Slurry Generation, 135 Direct Utilization of S1UITY, 141 Alternatives to Disposal in Impoundments, 151 Remining Slurry Impoundments, 159 Implementation, 162 8. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Engineering Standards, Barrier Stability, and Monitoring, 165 Site Characterization, 167 Alternative Technologies, 169 Additional Recommendations, 171 Summary, 173 REFERENCES APPENDIXES A. BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF COMMITTTEE MEMBERS x 71 87 111 131 165 175 187 189
INFORMATION PROVIDED TO THE COMMITTEE C GLOSSARY D. ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS GEOPHYS~ALTECHNIQuES E~c~cal~dElec~oms~ Broods, 221 b-Se~mSe~m~Tec~i~e~223 Ducts ~s~edcReson~ce, 224 Bod~(~=~225 Fez 197 213 219 221