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Restoration of Abandoned Mine Sites (RAMS)

RAMS MISSION

The RAMS Program utilizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers environmental authorities to provide technical, planning, and design assistance to Federal and non-Federal interests in carrying out projects to address water quality problems caused by drainage and related activities from abandoned and inactive non-coal mines. In addition, a research is included as a component of the program and is designed to provide applied engineering and scientific support to allow the efficient and cost-effective performance of projects intended to manage drainage from abandoned and inactive non-coal mines; restore and protect streams, rivers, wetlands, other water bodies, and riparian areas degraded by drainage from abandoned and inactive non-coal mines; and demonstrate management practices and innovative and alternative treatment technologies to minimize or eliminate adverse environmental effects associated with drainage from abandoned and inactive non-coal mines. The program also includes the development and population of a database of remediation technologies as specified in Section 560 of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) 1999.

Activities currently ongoing within the 50 RAMS projects initiated to date include:

  1. Support the development of a AML stakeholder design and planning manuals.

  2. Carry out a series of studies to demonstrate scientific basis, develop metrics and values to quantify environmental quality benefits.

  3. Identify, plan, and implement a large-scale watershed-level complex AML project that addresses prioritization, design, and implementation.

  4. Identify existing techniques and develop new remote or non-intrusive instrumentation or methodologies for AML site characterization and monitoring and provide guidance on specific water quality constituent monitoring to meet project objectives and evaluate remediation and restoration methods.

  5. Continue development of, and populate, web-based clearinghouse to include technologies, sites and ongoing work, agencies dealing with AMD, and successes/failures and lessons learned.

  6. Evaluate existing in-situ AML remediation and restoration techniques, identify potential improvements or additions, and analyze success/failure of existing AML treatments and provide guidance to avoid failure.

  7. Expand hydrological modeling capabilities for very small and/or intermittent stream flows with attention to surface water/groundwater interaction surrounding AML sites, with he goal of developing tools and techniques to extrapolate flows, including predictive modeling.

  8. Expand GIS software coverage for use in regional AML characterization to include GIS software specific to AML incorporating prioritization schemes at watershed level.

  9. Develop visual information delivery systems for use in conveying complex AML information.

  10. Partner with other Federal agencies in support of their AML programs with the objective of combining resources to collectively address pollution created by acid mine drainage.