Over the weekend, MILLIONS of gallons of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) were released into the Cheat River and Muddy Creek in West Virginia after a mine blow out from the T&T Mine Complex. Officials have also stated that the AMD released was 10 times the normal concentration. The outflows peaked at 6,200 gallons per minute but have since lowered to 3,500 gallons/minute according to the West Virginia Department of Environment Protection (WVDEP).
Friends of the Cheat, a non-profit organization focused on the watershed put out a press release about the event:
“It is with heavy hearts that we inform our river community that there has been another blowout related to the T&T mine system, and acidic and metal-laden water is again flowing through Muddy Creek. FOC staff noticed the disturbing hue of the water yesterday and found the pH reading 3.65. pH has dropped in the Canyon at “Decision Rapid” to 5.8 and has stained the river right extensively.
The WVDEP Muddy Creek Watershed Treatment Plant has not been able to handle the burden of the recent precipitation events. With precipitation projected to occur more often and with greater intensity over the next decade, we are left to wonder how often these events may occur. For the fish documented in Muddy Creek and the Canyon, this is a major ecological setback. This is ever more proof that our work is not done, and the risk these Abandoned Mine Lands pose to healthy ecosystems.
We will continue to push for restored water quality, innovation, and will not accept this as the status quo for Muddy Creek. Now more than ever, SMCRA AML reauthorization will be critical to address the longstanding ecological damage continually caused by abandoned mine lands. We’re not out of the weeds yet.”
You can read more about the event, in an in-depth article from WBOY 12 News, here.