A Department of Environmental Protection report to the DEP Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board for its January 21 meeting shows the agency will finish reclamation of about 1,368 acres of abandoned mine lands from the 2015 season.
That total is up from 1,146 acres in 2014 and 647.3 acres in 2013. But that total is much less than the annual average of 4,125 acres and the over 33,300 acres of mine lands reclaimed between 1995 to 2002.
Almost all of the money used to reclaim mine lands came from the federal Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund-- $52.8 million of the $58.3 million in 2015 reclamation costs.
According to DEP’s report, the agency has projects underway that will result in the reclamation of 2,799 acres when they are completed in 2016 and 2017 worth about $134.7 million, again almost all from federal funds-- $134.1 million.
Projects, particularly the more complex ones, typically take a year or more to design and get in position to let out for bid.
Pennsylvania still has about 220,000 acres of unreclaimed abandoned mine lands polluting more than 4,000 miles of streams that will cost over $1.1 billion to make safe.
A copy of the report is available online.
For more information on mine reclamation activities in Pennsylvania, visit DEP’s Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation webpage.
MRAB will hold its meeting in the 2nd Floor Training Room, Rachel Carson Building, starting at 10:00.Visit the DEP Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board webpage for more information on its upcoming meeting. DEP Contact: Daniel Snowden, Bureau of Mining Programs, 400 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101, 717-787-5103, firstname.lastname@example.org.