Friday, February 27, 2015

WPCAMR Makes Film Available Online About The Operation Scarlift Mine Reclamation Program

The Western Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation made available at film on YouTube produced by the Department of Environmental Resources in 1970 to describe the impact of Operation Scarlift in cleaning up Pennsylvania’s abandoned mines, putting out mine fires and deal with mine subsidence damage.
On May 16, 1967, Pennsylvania voters approved a $500 million environmental bond issue. A portion of this program was to be expended for the elimination of stream pollution from abandoned coal operations, air pollution from burning coal refuse banks, alleviation of subsidence from abandoned mining operations and elimination of underground mine fires.
On January 19, 1968, the legislature enacted the "Land and Water Conservation and Reclamation Act" (1968 P.L.996, No.443) which directed $200 million of that bond issue toward abandoned mine reclamation and mine drainage abatement within the Commonwealth.
The abandoned mine reclamation portion of the act, known as "Project 500," "Operation Scarlift," or "The Bond Issue Program," was administered initially by the Department of Mines and Mineral Industries and subsequently by the Department Environmental Resources (now Department of Environmental Protection).
In 1976, Department Environmental Resources staff prepared the paper Operation Scarlift - Mine Drainage Abatement and presented it at the ASCE Annual Convention and Exposition.
Utilizing Operation Scarlift bond funding, between 1968 and 1981 the department spent $78,000,000 to complete 500 stream pollution abatement projects, and an additional $64,000,000 to extinguish 76 underground mine fires, stabilize 156 areas subjected to mine subsidence and prevent air pollution at 28 burning refuse banks. The list of projects completed under Operation Scarlift is contained in the Bond Issue Report.
            Click Here to learn more about this part of Pennsylvania’s environmental restoration heritage.  Click Here to watch the film.

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