The Mining of Metals Industry

1605 Words Feb 21st, 2018 6 Pages
The Industrial Revolution helped to usher in modern civilization by transforming iron into railway transportation and high rise buildings in all of the major cities around the world. Concerns for the environment did not exist as long as the metals could be extracted to fulfill the needs of the masses. Environmental concerns about mining didn’t even come about in the United States until the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) in 1976 (EPA 1976). RCRA was the first Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation that required a study of mining wastes from active surface and underground mining activities. In 1985 the EPA published the Land Disposal Restrictions Phase IV which establishes the metal-bearing waste treatment standards (EPA 1985). This includes Toxicity Characteristic waste that is generated from mining processes with high concentration levels. The EPA also printed the “Abandoned Mine Site Characterization and Cleanup Handbook” in 2000 to cover all mining processes and remediation programs (Ceto and Mahmud 2000). The following pages of this paper will concentrate on the mining practices, present contamination and remediation factors needed to clean up many sites that are either active or abandoned. The mining of metals can be separated into three different…
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