Mining operations generate wastewater from cutting, washing, and cooling as well as area dewatering and stormwater runoff. These effluent waters can carry a variety of pollutants impacting surface and groundwater. Additionally, abandoned mines that were never suitably closed can impact the environment around them. Efforts are being made to characterize the hazards of these legacy sites and initiate appropriate remediation. Testing to address environmental concerns for mining operations include acidity, alkalinity, asbestos, Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), fluoride, metals, oil and grease, sulfides, Total Suspended Solids (TSS), and turbidity.
Under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program, mining operations are required to meet specific testing criteria for discharging into US waters. Authorities use this data to determine if pollutants are present and if effluent limits are needed in the discharge permit. A monitoring program may be implemented as part of a management plan designed to mitigate risk, manage water quality, and ensure compliance. Testing frequency can vary or be a set periodic program. No matter what testing frequency is implemented, AAI provides site specific testing for mining monitoring requirements.
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA) ensures hazardous waste generation, storage, transport, treatment, and disposal is carefully managed to protect human health and the environment. AAI provides waste characterization testing for the mining industry. Testing includes Toxicity Characterization Leaching Procedure (TCLP), Synthetic Precipitation Leaching Procedure (SPLP), Soluble Threshold Limit Concentration (STLC), and Deionized Water Waste Extraction Test (Di-Wet).