On November 28, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection awarded $1.6 million to support seven projects in Western Pennsylvania to treat acid mine drainage (AMD). The grants come from the state Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act Fund and the state AML Set Aside Fund supported by the federal Abandoned Mine Land Program. For more information on mine reclamation, visit DEP’s Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program webpage.
“Pennsylvania continues to chip away at the immense challenge of restoring streams impaired before the creation of environmental regulations,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “These projects bring together the best resources in planning, design, construction, and maintenance to help bring streams back to life.”
Seven projects will help restore more than 20 miles of streams in four counties and at the Flight 93 National Memorial site. The projects are listed below:
Clearfield County Conservation District received $249,500 to improve recreational use of Little Beaver Run in Decatur Township by designing and building an AMD treatment system, including a pond, wetland, and limestone bed, to reduce acidity.
Mountain Watershed Association received $426,279 for new work to maintain remediation and address new discharges in the Gallentine and Sagamore AMD passive treatment systems in Saltlick and Springfield townships. The two systems are integral to maintaining water quality in Indian Creek, which prior AMD remediation has restored to a trout-stocked fishery.
Indiana County Conservation District received $83,624 to develop a plan to restore 18 miles of AMD-impaired streams in the Yellow Creek Watershed. The conservation district office will assess the watershed on foot and via drone and discharge sampling along Yellow Creek. They’ll then develop a restoration plan that will guide future cleanup strategies and enable existing and planned AMD treatment systems to qualify for funding.
Stream Restoration Incorporated received $57,559 to develop a plan to restore Aultman’s Run Watershed, which has 69 miles of stream and covers parts of Indiana and Armstrong counties. Completion of the restoration plan will guide future cleanup strategies and enable five planned AMD and coal refuse cleanup projects to qualify for funding.
Paint Creek Regional Watershed Association received $48,193 for limestone treatment to restore AMD-impaired headwaters of Babcock Creek in Gallitzin State Forest. The project is anticipated to expand local habitat for Pennsylvania’s state fish, the brook trout.
Somerset County Conservation District received $551,319 for construction of an AMD passive treatment system on Lamberts Run in Stonycreek Township, one mile from the Flight 93 National Memorial. In addition to removing the final source of AMD impairment in Lamberts Run Watershed, the system is expected to improve water quality in the upper Stonycreek River. This project complements existing DEP-led treatment at the headwaters of Lamberts Run on the Flight 93 property.
Shade Creek Watershed Association received $208,141 for AMD treatment on Coal Run in State Game Land 228, Shade Township. The project will restore more than 4 miles of stream and maintain previous mine drainage treatment in the headwaters of Shade Creek, which are supporting native brook trout populations.