True Pigments is attracting considerable media interest. This page information journalists can use to contact us to learn more about True Pigments as well as links to our press releases and media mentions.
The Plains, OH - Paint generally isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when people think about Earth Day. Enter Reclaimed Earth Colors, a set of oil paints that were made from the pollution that taints many Appalachian streams and turns them orange. These paints, produced by Gamblin Artists Colors, were created by extracting iron oxide from Sunday Creek in Athens County, Ohio. The innovative process cleans the acid mine drainage (AMD) caused by historic coal mining, turning it into pigment for use in paints and other products.
The Plains, OH —True Pigments, LLC, a social enterprise of Rural Action, is throwing a release party on March 19 to unveil a limited-edition oil paint set that Gamblin Artists Colors created from acid mine drainage (AMD). “Every speck of pigment in these tubes has been painstakingly reclaimed from waters tainted by iron released from [coal] mines,” according to the packaging on Reclaimed Earth Colors, the paints that Gamblin created from the discharge. Gamblin is based in Portland, OR.
Environmental Justice Initiative Selected by J.M. Kaplan Fund from 1,300+ Ideas, Joins Nationwide Cohort of Social Innovation Leaders New York City – The J.M. Kaplan Fund announced today the results of its nationwide search to identify ten exceptionally catalytic social and environmental change initiatives. One of the ten awardees –True Pigments – is an environmental-justice initiative of Rural Action based in Ohio that offers a powerful new model for the environmental field. The J.M.K. Innovation Prize is awarded biennially to ten non-profit and mission-driven for-profit organizations tackling America’s most pressing challenges through social innovation – defined as those pilot projects, new organizations or nascent initiatives that involve a certain amount of measured risk but which may ultimately lead to large-scale, transformative results. Each awardee receives up to $175,000 over three years and participates in a learning collaborative of fellow innovators to support their journey as change agents.
Sunday Creek begins around Corning, a small town in southeastern Ohio, before snaking down 27 miles to connect with the Hocking River. Like much of Appalachia, the creek’s watershed was historically home to communities of coal miners, but the mines have since closed, leaving only their runoff: nearly 1,000 gal. a minute of water so badly contaminated that Sunday Creek is now home to the worst acid mine drainage (AMD) site in the stateJohn Sabraw, an Ohio University professor of art who is also interested in sustainability, first noticed the effects of AMD when exploring the area with an environmentalist group in 2003.
Rural Action now owns the worst acid mine discharge in the state of Ohio.
And the group couldn’t be happier.
The site, in Truetown (near Millfield) in Athens County, produces 988 gallons of acid mine drainage per minute — more than 2 million pounds of iron oxide per year. The water runs orange, and is not potable, as a result of the coal mining of years past. Pyrite exposed through mining is combines with rain water and air to form sulfuric acid through dissolved iron. It further dissolves heavy metals such as copper, lead and mercury into the groundwater and streams, which can disrupt plant growth and animal habitats, as well as corrode infrastructure.
Rust-colored sludge fills the streams of Southeast Ohio as acid mine drainage from abandoned coal mines continues to pollute tributaries of the Hocking River, destroying local aquatic habitats.Historically, rural Appalachia was considered an extensive coal mining region. Before the 1970s, the U.S. had very limited restrictions on the coal mining industry, which resulted in the environmental legacy known as acid mine drainage.
Two promising new technologies—recovery of rare earths from acid mine drainage (AMD and conversion of AMD treatment by-products to paint pigments are bringing new hope to remediating AMD polluted streams. These technologies are a kind of modern day alchemy—restoring streams that are orange and lifeless by turning pollution into economically valuable products and creating new jobs for local economies. The development of economically viable treatment processes is a game changer for AMD treatment with potentially huge benefits for national security, local economies, and restoration of the health of thousands of miles of now lifeless streams.
In the rolling Appalachian foothills of Ohio, Sunday Creek runs bright with shades of red and orange. The 27-mile-long tributary flows through the ruins of abandoned coal mines, which sprawl beneath the southeast part of the state like a labyrinth. The companies that dug the century-old mines are long gone. But residents in this rural region still live with the mess that’s left behind.
Ohio University, Rural Action and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) are moving forward with a plan that would ultimately construct a full-scale acid mine drainage (AMD) water treatment plant in Millfield, near Athens, according to an OU news release.
Rural Action’s True Pigments environmental justice initiative has been named one of 10 national awardees of the 2019 J.M. Kaplan Fund Innovation Prize.