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This study aimed to identify the water quality benefits of remediating two coal mine discharges, one in Scotland and one in Northern England. For each site, the assessment followed the updated coal methodology (RPA, 2015). The first stage involved the development of assumptions for the assessment, setting out key points such as the length of waterbody affected, the likely extent of the improvement in water quality, and whether this improvement would be sufficient to result in a status change under the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

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This work for the Coal Authority involved assessing the benefits of remediating three former mining areas. All three sites (two in Scotland, one in England) had previously been used for metal mining. This meant that the mine water discharges, along with any runoff from nearby spoil heaps, had high concentrations of metals such as zinc, lead and cadmium. This metal rich water was affecting water quality and the classification of waterbodies under the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

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