WILLIAMSPORT – The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced it has awarded $819,444 for the Coaldale abandoned mine reclamation project in Rush Township and $321,718 for the Moshannon Far North project in Snow Shoe Township. Both projects are in Centre County.
“Pennsylvania has approximately 180,000 acres of abandoned mine sites in need of remediation, and our aggressive program is reclaiming these sites to eliminate harmful acid mine drainage, protect our waterways and return the land to its original condition,” DEP Deputy Secretary for the Office of Active and Abandoned Mine Operations John Stefanko said.
The Coaldale project will reclaim 58 acres of abandoned mine land, last mined prior to 1966 by K&M Kephart Mining Co. One residence and five hunting camps are located within 1,000 feet of the highwalls. The spoil piles and highwalls border Coaldale Road, which provides easy access to the abandoned mine site for all-terrain vehicle riders. Part of the Coaldale site includes an illegal waste dump, and the reclamation work will include removing 10 tons of solid waste along with grading, drain installation and seeding.
The Moshannon Far North project will reclaim 25 acres of abandoned mine land that was mined in the 1950s by E.L. Craft, Cherry Run Mining Co. and Frank T. Hertlein. The site, located within 300 feet of a residence and a business, has almost three quarters of a mile of dangerous highwalls. Because this area is used for hunting, as many of the mature trees as possible will be preserved while simultaneously eliminating the hazardous highwalls and open pits. The reclamation will also help to improve the water quality of a receiving wetland lying just south of the project.
The Coaldale reclamation work will be done by Morgan’s Excavating LLC of Mount Union and will be completed by late June of 2015. The Moshannon Far North reclamation work will be done by JBS Dirt Inc. of Canastota, NY, and will be completed by late March of 2015.
Both contracts were awarded on a competitive basis and are being paid for out of a grant from the federal Office of Surface Mining. The federal fund is supported by a fee on the coal industry and is distributed to states as annual grants to reclaim mine sites that were abandoned prior to passage of the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977.
For more information, visit www.dep.state.pa.us or call 717-783-2267.