DEP Announces Plan to Improve Water Quality in Local Streams

CRESSON — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has begun to design a plant to treat Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) that will result in a considerable improvement in the water quality of Clearfield Creek and a tributary to the Frankstown Branch Juniata River in Cresson, Cambria County.

The Cresson AMD project will use a series of vertical well pumps to remove water from three underground mine pools. The water will be piped to an AMD treatment facility at a site located along Cresson Shaft Road in Cresson. The treated water will flow into Clearfield Creek.

“This project will result in dramatically improved water quality, restoring as much as 21 miles of streams,” said Kelly Heffner, Deputy Secretary for Water Management. “We have seen the benefits of these AMD projects in other areas of Cambria County and the improvement comes rapidly.”

Construction of the Cresson AMD project will be funded by state capital budget funds. Construction is expected to begin in 2015.

The plant will be operated using funds provided by an agreement with the Susquehanna River Basin Commission. The agreement requires DEP to provide additional water during times when stream flows are low. These operating funds will be supplemented by funds from the federal Office of Surface Mining’s Abandoned Mine Lands Program.

A public meeting to provide information about the project will be held at 6:30 p.m. on May 22 in the St. Aloysius Social Hall, 7911 Admiral Peary Highway, Cresson. Representatives from DEP’s Bureau of Conservation and Restoration will be available to answer questions. Residents of Cresson and Gallitzin townships, as well as anyone interested in the project, are invited to attend.

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