|The UK has a legacy of pollution caused by discharges from abandoned coal mines, with the potential for further pollution by new discharges as groundwaters continue to rebound to their natural levels. In 1995, the Coal Authority initiated a scoping study of 30 gravity discharges from abandoned coal mines in England and Scotland. Mining information, geological information and water quality data were collated and interpreted in order to allow a preliminary assessment of the source and nature of each of the discharges. An assessment of the potential for remediation was made on the basis of the feasibility and relative costs of alternative remediation measures. Environmental impacts of the discharges and of the proposed remediation schemes were also assessed. The results, together with previous Coal Authority studies of discharges in Wales, were used by the Coal Authority, in collaboration with the former National Rivers Authority and the former Forth and Clyde River Purification Boards, to rank discharge sites in order of priority for remediation.