Friday, December 15, 2017

Funding Approved For Reclamation Of Abandoned Mines In Fayette, Jefferson, Somerset Counties

Gov. Tom Wolf Friday announced funding for projects to cleanup acid mine drainage (AMD) and contaminated land at three sites in Fayette, Jefferson and Somerset Counties.
“It takes committed, hard work by many local partners to clean up the environmental degradation left by decades of coal mining before federal and state regulations began in the 1970s,” said Gov. Wolf. “Their efforts are invaluable investments in our public health, the vitality of our communities, and the quality of our environment in Pennsylvania.”
The grants are supported by the federal Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act Fund, established to finance reclamation projects on lands scarred by surface mining, and through the AMD abatement and treatment program to support remediation of AMD in a Qualified Hydrologic Unit—a watershed, river basin, or other unit where AMD has significantly affected water quality in a way that adversely affects biological resources.
“DEP is pleased to approve funding to support these partnerships in abandoned mine cleanup efforts,” said Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Their work goes a long way to restore and protect the land and water for their communities and the citizens of Pennsylvania.”
The projects funded projects include:
-- Fayette County: AMD Cleanup at Spruell Mine Site: Western PA Conservancy will design and build a passive AMD treatment system at the abandoned Spruell Mine site. The system will remove 5 pounds of iron and 2 pounds of manganese daily from Glade Run to improve stream health. The project was awarded a $414,650 SMCRA Grant.
-- Jefferson and Clarion Counties: Mill Creek Watershed Designation as Qualified Hydrologic Unit: The Headwaters Charitable Trust will develop the Mill Creek Watershed as a Qualified Hydrologic Unit in a project awarded a $27,850 AMD Set-Aside Grant.
This designation will enable the Mill Creek Coalition to leverage additional funding from the AMD Set-Aside Fund to allow continued operation of 14 passive treatment systems in the watershed and develop additional treatment systems to maintain recovered sections of the main stem of Mill Creek and Little Mill Creek.
-- Somerset County: Hawk View Revegetation: The Somerset County Conservation District will repair three acres of land, known as Hawk View, at an abandoned mine site now owned by Somerset County Conservancy and designated a Qualified Hydrologic Unit.
Vegetation was killed by acidic material exposed by erosion. The project, which received a $41,008 AMD Set-Aside Grant, consists of laying down a thin layer of crushed limestone and topsoil and replanting with native vegetation.
For more information on mine reclamation in Pennsylvania, visit DEP’s Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation webpage.

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