Environmental Impact Assessment of Tailing Dumps (Case Study: Lupeni Coal Mine, Jiului Valley)

Georgiana Ioana Irimia, Liviu Muntean, Dana Malschi


The aim of this study was to provide an assessment of the environmental impact that the tailing dumps from Lupeni coal mine (Jiului Valley) have on the local environment. To achieve this goal, several field trips were organized during which observations on the area were noted and biological samples were collected (soil samples). The study was based also on laboratory and computer studies during which biological samples were analyzed and the results were processed to determine the degree of impact. The current study focused primarily on assessing the quality of the terrestrial biotic environments, by identifying the main groups of invertebrates and plant species that inhabit the anthropogenic soils and on the recent observations made on field in the affected area. The results of some preliminary studies on the stability of the waste dumps and on the quality of the aquatic biotic environments were also considered. Based on all information gathered this way, a rapid impact assessment matrix (RIAM - Pastakia and Jensen, 1998) was applied. The matrix results (scores) have highlighted the differences between the various areals of the tailings deposit and the importance of the environmental reconversion of the affected terrains. The study showed that the tailing dumps have a negative impact on the environmental components, but also, in some cases, have a slightly positive impact, particularly if the consequence of their formation has effects that could be exploited for some leisure or touristic purposes. Outcomes of this study provide viable information that can be used for local environmental restoration


tailing dump, Lupeni, coal mine, rapid impact assessment matrix, biotic environment

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