Impacts of Abandoned Mines in Pennsylvania

The map shows how abandoned mine sites are distributed throughout the state, and categorizes the sites by their types of impacts. This lets a viewer observe where sites with different kinds of threats are found, and also makes it easy to locate non-affected areas.

Click on a county to see the categories and numbers of sites located there. Zoom in to see more precise locations.

map legend: types of abandoned mines

Data Explanation

"The Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation administers and oversees the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program in Pennsylvania. The bureau is responsible for resolving problems such as mine fires, mine subsidence, dangerous highwalls, open shafts and portals, mining-impacted water supplies and other hazards which have resulted from past coal mining (pre-1977) practices in accordance with requirements established by the federal Office of Surface Mining under authority of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act." (PA DEP: source link below)

One of the most challenging impacts of abandoned mines is water pollution due to Acid Mine Drainage (AMD). AMD is when liquid from any type of coal site drains from that site and gives water a more acidic pH. These situations can threaten aquatic and terrestrial wildlife as well as human populations due to the contamination of their drinking water. Of the 11,249 abandoned mines in the state of Pennsylvania, 9,977 have either environmental impacts or health and safety issues.

Comparative Data:

Impact Type # of Mines (out of 9,977)
Environmental 6,651
Extreme Health & Safety 140
Health & Safety 3,276
No Priority 6
No Determination 1,266