Where the Sidewalk Meets the Road – The Earth Bleeds Orange


“Where the Sidewalk Meets the Road” – Mulberry Street – Wilkinsburg, PA – Acid Mine Drainage discharging from the buried foundation of a now demolished building…

Western Pennsylvania shows the scars of one-hundred years of industry… Some are obvious… Abandoned steel mills… Communities left in ruins… Others are not so obvious…

Coal mining was a massive industry in this state… A direct result of a lack of environmental restrictions within the commonwealth was a lack of remediation obligations after the venture was completed… Spent mines were filled with the byproducts of coal processing… Iron pyrite happened to make up a large percentage of this waste… When the abandoned mines eventually flooded… The water mixed with the iron and rusted… Add oxygen and you now have sulphuric acid…

Sulphuric acid… Bleeding from the earth… Where the land will allow it is often hidden by the very people we expect to protect us… But in urban areas where land is at a premium… There is no hiding it… And sadly… There is no money to remediate it… It just continuously flows out of the ground and down the street side… Eventually running through a small hole drilled in the side of the storm sewer… And right down into Nine Mile Run… Which flows into the Monongahela River… Which becomes the Ohio River… And then the Mississippi River… And ultimately the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean…

Among the many colors the earth bleeds… One of the most destructive… And also the most common… Happens to be orange…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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4 thoughts on “Where the Sidewalk Meets the Road – The Earth Bleeds Orange

  1. mattb325 says:

    It’s a tragedy to see a century-old wound still weeping. Sadly though, I don’t think people have learnt anything. Here in Australia, one hundred years later (when we *should* know better) the government can’t allow the pillage of the earth for mining & revenue fast enough.


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