HGS E & E - Acid Mine Drainage: What It Is, Where It Is, and the EPA’s Role

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Black Lab Pub, Churchill Room • 4100 Montrose Blvd.
Social 5:30 p.m., Dinner 6:30 p.m.

Cost: $30 Pre-registered members; $35 non-members & ALL walk-ups (Credit Cards Now Accepted)
$15 Emeritus/Life/Honorary; Students: FREE
To guarantee a seat, you must pre-register on the HGS website and pay with a credit card.  You may walk up and pay at the door if extra seats are available.  Please cancel by phone or email within 24 hours before the event for a refund. Monday scheduled HGS meetings need to be cancelled the Friday before by 2pm.  Online & pre-registration closes Wednesday, December 9 at 5:00 a.m.

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Speaker:  Matthew Cowan, P.G.
Terrain Solutions Inc.

Acid Mine Drainage: What It Is, Where It Is, and the
EPA’s Role

Since the Gold King Mine incident in Colorado earlier this year, the spotlight has been on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its activities in Colorado. The EPA is addressing the issue of acid mine drainage with a degree of success, but also a degree of failure. Acid mine drainage is the result of a chemical reaction that occurs when water is polluted from contact with the products of mining activity. It is formed when pyrite, an iron sulfide, is exposed and reacts with air and water to form sulfuric acid and dissolved iron. Some or all of this iron can precipitate to form red, orange, or yellow sediments in the bottom of streams containing mine drainage. The acid runoff further dissolves heavy metals such as copper, lead, and mercury into ground or surface water. The negative effects are contaminated drinking water, disrupted growth and reproduction of aquatic plants and animals, and corroding effects of acid on parts of infrastructure such as bridges. From 40 hardrock mines it is estimated that 17-27 billion gallons of polluted water are produced every year. This presentation will focus providing a brief explanation of the chemical reaction, how acid mine drainage forms, and an examination of recent cases.

Matthew R. Cowan, P.G. has more than 18 years of professional experience in geology, environmental remediation and hydrogeology. Mr. Cowan is currently the Chief Field Geologist for Terrain Solutions Inc., overseeing site investigations and remediations of soil and groundwater. Mr. Cowan is a graduate of Texas A&I University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology with a Minor in Mathematics, and obtained his Master’s Degree in Geology from Texas A&M University-Kingsville. He is a Licensed Professional Geoscientist in Texas and Louisiana. In addition he is a Licensed Public School Teacher in Texas. Mr. Cowan has been serving as the HGS Environmental and Engineering Group Chairman since 2007, and is a past HGS Secretary. He is also past Treasurer/Secretary and current President of the Texas Association of Professional Geoscientists, and serves on the Board of Directors for AIPG Texas Section. In addition, he is currently Vice President of the Texas A&I Alumni Association.

December 9th, 2015 5:30 PM   through   7:00 PM
Event Fee(s)
HGS Member $ 30.00
Non-Member $ 35.00
Emeritus/Life/Honorary $ 15.00
Student $ 0.00
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Event Contact
Contact Matthew Cowan
Contact Phone (713) 777-0534
contact Email mrcowan1@hal-pc.org

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