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DEP Awards More Than $365,000 For 2 Clarion County Mine Reclamation Projects

The Department of Environmental Protection announced Wednesday it has awarded $365,110 in contracts for two mine reclamation projects in Clarion County.

Through contractors, DEP will use the money to construct an acid mine drainage treatment system at a strip mine site in Red Bank Township and clean up huge piles of mining waste material, known as spoil, at a site in Elk Township.

“Acid mine drainage impacts many miles of Pennsylvania’s waterways and is an environmental legacy challenge we are working hard to address,” DEP Deputy Secretary for Active and Abandoned Mine Operations John Stefanko said. “We’re also making sure abandoned mine sites that present a public health and safety hazard get cleaned up.”

DEP awarded $205,887 to Original Fuels Inc. of Punxsutawney Borough, Jefferson County, to install an acid mine drainage treatment system at the site in Red Bank Township. The site’s former operator, R.E.M. Coal, forfeited its reclamation bond of $51,095, which will be used to partially pay for the system.

The mine drainage water will be directed through a limestone bed to neutralize the acidity of the water. The discharge flows at about 15 gallons per minute into an unnamed tributary of Town Run, which feeds into Red Bank Creek.

DEP awarded $159,223 to Morgan’s Excavating of Mount Union, Huntingdon County, to clean up a 17-acre site a half-mile north of Pine City in Elk Township. The contractor will re-grade two steep mine spoil piles that stretch nearly a quarter-mile each in length and stand more than four stories high, reclaiming the site so that native trees and vegetation can grow as part of the Lower Clarion watershed.

The contracts were awarded on a competitive basis and are being paid for from funds earmarked for reclamation, including the Surface Mine Conservation and Reclamation Fund, which is financed with fees and penalties paid by coal operators.

A surprise change in federal law in July will reduce federal Abandoned Mine Reclamation Funds coming to Pennsylvania by over $200 million over the next 10 years.


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