FACTS

Funding AMD Chemistry
for Treatment Systems

 

About the FACTS Program

Please Note:  WPCAMR's Growing Greener Grant funding for the FACTS Program has ended.  If future funding can be secured, we will resume this grant program.

The initiative also provides a public, online repository of systems' data, called Datashed.

The grant is administered by the Western Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation (WPCAMR); funding came from Pennsylvania's Growing Greener Program.

Motivation for Funding Chemical Analyses

Over the past two decades, Pennsylvania has invested heavily in passive technologies to treat abandoned mine drainage. However, the operational and maintenance costs necessary to keep passive treatment systems performing adequately are higher than initially anticipated, which poses a challenge for the cash-strapped grassroots organizations that have taken responsibility for them. One such expense is for regular laboratory analyses that chemically characterize system performance and help diagnose problems.

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection's OM&R Workgroup has recommended that 10% of all operations, maintenance, and replacement (OM&R) costs be dedicated to chemical analyses. Moreover, the Pennsylvania Nonpoint Source Management Program's 2001 Annual Report calls for quarterly monitoring of treatment systems for two years after construction, and annual monitoring thereafter.

In addition to the need for funding of chemical analyses, WPCAMR also recognizes that various watershed groups perform many of the same tasks: choosing quality laboratories, negotiating analysis prices, accepting and retaining data from laboratories, analyzing treatment system data, and reporting to educational institutions or government agencies. By becoming the central point of contact with laboratories, WPCAMR can consolidate this redundancy and reduce analysis costs and increasing the data's reliability and visibility.

Datashed: Online Database for Water Data

Datashed is an Internet repository for water sampling data, which streamlines the transfer of test results from laboratories. Laboratories upload analysis results to Datashed using unique Sample IDs that link each water sample to a specific date, treatment system, and sampling location. Watershed groups can also submit field data online. Datashed can record any type of analysis conceivable, as well as the method used to measure it.

Datashed will store the complete history of a passive treatment system and make it publicly accessible, via a Creative Commons License. This helps to diagnose problems and allows other watershed groups, scientists, and academia to use the data to study and evaluate various AMD treatment technologies.

See also "Why does FACTS require use of Datashed?"

 

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