The Department of Environmental Protection said Thursday a $371,000 abandoned mine reclamation project outside the village of Boswell in Somerset County is almost complete.
The project involves the reclamation of four dangerous highwalls and a hazardous pool of water, features that remained when a local coal mine was abandoned coal mine.
Work on the project began earlier this summer and is expected to wrap up in the next two weeks.
Work crews continue to return the land to its original contours and have put up a sediment fence in preparation for planting and mulching the area.
Aside from eliminating a safety concern, the project will also benefit the water quality in nearby Quemahoning Creek. Before the work was done on the site, surface water was mixing with coal fines on the property.
The runoff had a high acid content and was emptying into a small stream that ran through the adjacent Orenda Historic Park and into the creek.
By eliminating the water pool and separating any surface water from coal fines, the quality of the water going into the creek is far less acidic and contributes to improving the quality of the water in the creek.
Reporter Judy Ellich of the Somerset Daily American interviewed DEP Environmental Projects Construction Inspector David Hochstein for a story that will appear in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.In addition to the newspaper story, a video with Mr. Hochstein explaining the benefits of the project will be posted on the Daily American website on Sunday.
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(Reprinted from the September 1 DEP News. Click Here to sign up for your own copy.)