HARRISBURG — The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced it has awarded a $1.66 million grant to the Clean Streams Foundation, Inc. (CSF) to maintain acid mine drainage (AMD) treatment facilities in Butler, Cambria, Clarion and Venango counties.
This grant will allow CSF to operate and maintain nine existing water treatment plants that remove AMD from nearby waterways. This includes costs incurred for water monitoring, treatment chemicals, system flushing, sludge removal, emergency repairs, among other things.
“It is important for us to fund facilities like these that are making a big impact on the water quality of our rivers and streams,” said DEP Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo.
Collectively, these nine treatment facilities treat nearly one million gallons of mine-influenced water daily.
The grant will be paid to CSF over a period of five years. This is the second grant DEP has awarded to CSF for the operation and maintenance of the treatment facilities.
In 2005, DEP entered into a Consent Order and Agreement (COA) with C & K Coal Company to address post-mining issues, such as AMD. In that COA, a trust fund was created by C & K to construct and operate AMD treatment plants in impacted areas. CSF was named as the trustee and is now responsible for the operation and maintenance of the AMD treatment facilities.
Until the trust grows to cover all operation and maintenance costs for these treatment facilities, DEP has agreed to provide supplemental funding from the federal Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Fund. The fund is supported by a fee on the coal industry and is distributed to states as annual grants to reclaim abandoned mine sites.
For more information, visit www.dep.state.pa.us or call 717-783-9581.