ARIES sought independent, multi-disciplinary collaborative research to address environmental concerns raised in Appalachian communities about the energy industry. In order to foster a collaborative research environment, to promote knowledge sharing between research groups, and to enforce research quality standards, two formal referred conferences were held by ARIES. These conferences occurred in 2013 and 2015 in Charleston, WV and Pittsburgh, PA, respectively. A number of peer-reviewed publications were presented and subsequently published in the conference proceeding to disseminate research progress and findings. Further detail about these conferences can be found in the sections that follows.


Environmental Considerations in Energy Production

April 14-18, 2013

Marriott Charleston, Charleston, WV

This conference was the first of two held by ARIES with the goals of discussing 1) existing and emerging problems, 2) appropriate and innovative solutions, and 3) best practices and techniques between research groups. The conference environment sought to encourage collaborations and open dialog on the impacts of energy production on the environment as well as to serve a progress summary for research completed to date. As many of the projects were in their early stages at the time, this conference also served as a medium to assist researchers in refining their investigatory approaches using feedback from their peers. Main topics of discussion at this conference included:

• Water quality issues in energy production

• Impact of energy production on habitat quality and biological communities

• Regulatory approaches for energy production

• Innovative treatment technologies for energy production environmental impacts

• Prediction and assessment of energy production environmental impacts

• Materials handling and fill design to prevent energy production environmental impacts

• Social and community impacts of energy production

• Impacts on community health from energy production

• Sustainable development and energy production

• Coal mine blasting and the environment

• Next-generation eco-friendly mining and energy production systems

• Integrating reclamation, restoration and energy production planning

• Coal mine subsidence and protection of streams and aquifers

• Coal waste management

• Improving coal preparation plant environmental performance

• Economic impacts of energy production

• Natural gas production and water issues

• Disposal and management of coal combustion residuals

• Legal issues related to energy production

• Energy policy and social, community and environmental impacts


Second Environmental Considerations in Energy Production Conference

September 20-23, 2015

Omni William Penn, Pittsburgh, PA

This second conference was set near the completion of the ARIES research program and aimed to facilitate the exchanging of ideas on energy production industries, including mining, oil and gas production, and electrical power generation, along with the resulting impacts on the environment and society. The goals of this second meeting were to 1) discuss existing and emerging problems, 2) present appropriate and innovative solutions, and 3) define best practices and techniques. Given the maturity of many ARIES research projects at the time, this conference also served to develop ongoing collaborations and future investigations on the impacts of energy production on the environment as well as an opportunity to share solutions and conclusions. Main topics of discussion at this conference included:

• Water quality issues in energy production

• Impact of energy production on habitat quality and biological communities

• Regulatory approaches for energy production

• Innovative treatment technologies for energy production environmental impacts

• Prediction and assessment of energy production environmental impacts

• Social and community impacts of energy production

• Impacts on community health impacts from energy production

• Sustainable development and energy production

• Next-generation eco-friendly mining and energy production systems

• Integrating reclamation, restoration and energy production planning

• Underground coal mining environmental and water management issues

• Coal waste management

• Improving coal preparation plant environmental performance

• Economic impacts of energy production

• Shale and gas production and environmental issues

• Disposal and management of coal combustion residuals

• Legal issues related to energy production

• Energy policy and social, community and environmental impacts