HARRISBURG – State Rep. Camille “Bud” George, D-74 of Houtzdale, said that a project soon will be launched to reclaim an abandoned mine near Grampian, Penn Township.
“I’m pleased to see this project moving forward,” George said. “Mine reclamation projects help remediate polluted water supplies and restore our land.”
George said the state Department of Environmental Protection awarded a $98,407 contract to Earthmovers Unlimited, Inc. of Kylertown on Oct. 24. The project will be located south of McCann Bottom Road (Township Road 478), about one-half mile southwest of Grampian, in the Chest-Anderson creeks watershed.
The project will eliminate a 1,000-foot long rock cliff reaching as high as 50 feet. A strip-mine pit also will be removed. The project will eliminate risks associated with the highwall and the pit, as both are accessible from the township road and located near residential areas.
“In all, seven acres of land will be restored to pre-mining conditions,” George said. “Natural drainage channels will be restored to handle surface water run-off.”
The reclamation includes backfilling the highwall and pit areas, eliminating steep, unstable piles of mine spoil, and seeding the area with trees, mixed grasses and legumes.
The project is being funded through the federal Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program, which reclaims land and water resources harmed by past coal mining and left abandoned or inadequately restored. The program is financed through the coal industry from fees paid on each ton of coal currently mined.
Mining began at the site in the late 1940s by the Able Coal Company and was continued by the Spencer Brothers Coal Company until about 1960. The project is expected to begin on Dec. 23 and be completed by Oct. 28, 2012.
“This project is another important step toward reclaiming scarred land and polluted water,” George said. “I hope to see additional projects like this in the future.”