Friday, November 2, 2018

Somerset Conservation District Receives National Award For Lambert Run, Flight 93 Site Mine Drainage Treatment Project

The Courier Express Monday reported the Somerset County Conservation District was awarded a national Environmental Achievement Award from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance for its abandoned mine drainage abatement efforts in Lamberts Run Watershed.
The Award was presented at the National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs Conference in Virginia.
Also recognized with the same award was DEP’s Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation and the National Park Services’ Flight 93 National Memorial.
Lamberts Run is a tributary to the Stonycreek River that has suffered from severe water quality degradation from historic abandoned surface and deep mining operations.
Heavy loadings of iron and other metals rendered Lamberts Run severely impaired and also degraded the water quality of the Stonycreek River for much of the 20th century, according to the Conservation District.
The conservation district, in cooperation with DEP, began planning for acid mine drainage treatment options in the 1990s as part of a larger effort to reduce AMD impacts in the Stonycreek River watershed.
With the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001, at the headwaters of Lamberts Run, however, the dynamics of AMD abatement in the watershed changed.
The department, in cooperation with the park service, designed, funded and constructed a pump and treat AMD abatement project on the memorial property.
The Somerset County Conservancy oversaw construction of a passive treatment system on another source of AMD on property it owns adjacent to the memorial.
The Conservation District, in cooperation with department and the PA Association of Conservation Districts’ Technical Assistance Group, then administered and constructed another system, known as the Hinemeyer AMD treatment system, on Park Service property that reduced AMD impacts further downstream.
(Photo: Len Lichvar, Somerset Conservation District Manager, District Board Chair Roger Latuch, photo by Page Wetterberg.)
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