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The Shapiro Administration Awards $101.1 Million in Grants for Environmental Restoration Projects

Millions in funding to reclaim abandoned mine land will pave the way to improving water quality and revitalizing Pennsylvania communities

01/17/2024

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced up to $101,110,178 in funding for 16 environmental restoration projects of abandoned mine lands (AML) as a part of the Abandoned Mine Lands and Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) Grant Program. These projects focus on reclaiming AML, decreasing AMD, or treating AMD through the construction, operation, and/or maintenance of an AMD treatment facility.

“Reclaiming abandoned mine land is a crucial endeavor, restoring both the environment and communities in our Commonwealth,” said DEP Interim Acting Secretary Jessica Shirley. “These grant recipients are taking on projects that pave the way for meaningful efforts that improve water quality, foster ecosystem recovery, and revitalize communities for a greater quality of life for Pennsylvanians.”

The projects are funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

The grant program prioritizes serious human health and safety problems that are a result of abandoned coal mines, as well as treating AMD to continue restoration efforts under the AMD Set-Aside Program.

The grant program also focuses on operation and maintenance needs or upgrades of AMD treatment systems. This prevents the loss of restored streams and creates significant water quality improvements that go toward watershed restoration.

Grant recipients will be reimbursed on project costs up to the limit specified below. The following projects will be awarded under the Abandoned Mine Land and Acid Mine Drainage Grant Program:

Blair County:

  • Altoona Water Authority—$134,950
    • Glenwhite (Spaghetti Hole)—The project will restore and upgrade the Spaghetti Hole, a passive AMD treatment system within the Glenwhite Run Watershed.

Clarion County:

  • Headwaters Charitable Trust— $235,500
    • Jones Run North (Jones‐Douglass Design)— The project will include an instream active lime slurry dosing and solids collection pond(s) treatment system to neutralize acidity and precipitate metals from AMD sources affecting Jones Run and Douglass Run and impairing Mill Creek downstream of the river confluence.

Clearfield County:

  • Clearfield County Conservation District— $533,134
    • Anderson South (Planning and Development)— The project will restore Anderson Creek.
  • Moshannon Creek Watershed Association— $193,017
    • Hawk Run (Morrisdale Mine Pool)— The project will begin developing a design of a future AMD treatment facility to restore Moshannon Creek.

Clinton County:

  • Trout Unlimited, Inc.— $643,825
    • Robbins Hollow (Robbins Headwaters)— The project will include seven AMD passive treatment systems within Robbins Hollow to sustain downstream trout populations.

Elk County:

  • Headwaters Charitable Trust— $2,581,912
    • Elbon Northwest (Blue Valley Rehab)— The project will rehabilitate the Blue Valley AMD Treatment Plant and a Cooperative Trout Nursery.

Indiana County:

  • Clean Streams Foundation, Inc.— $24,194,380
    • Ernest‐Fulton Run (Crooked Creek)— The project will include construction of an active AMD treatment system to treat the Fulton Run Shaft and Ernest 2 and 3 discharges.
  • Indiana County Conservation District— $195,283
    • Bear Run South— The project will include designing, engineering and permitting for two AMD passive treatment systems to replace existing ineffective lime-dosing silos. South Branch Bear Run and discharge areas PA3326 and PA1029 will also be assessed.

Lackawanna County:

  • Lackawanna County Planning and Economic Development— $800,180
    • Dickson High School (Dickson City Pile)—The project will remove approximately 500,000 cubic yards of red ash and culm waste from a 35-acre AML site. Project work includes grading, stabilization, seeding, and repair to roadways affected by the project work.

Luzerne County:

  • Earth Conservancy— $1,354,600
    • Lower South Valley Energy Park— Engineering and permitting work will be completed to reclaim approximately 3,000 acres of AML for construction of the Lower South Valley Energy Park.
  • Plains Township— $321,500
    • Hilldale— The project will restore an approximately 40-acre property located in the Hilldale Section of Plains Township, Luzerne County to reduce impacts of AMD and for future development. Restoration includes grading the site, topsoil and seeding, and construction of a stormwater management basin.

Northumberland County:

  • Shamokin Creek Restoration Alliance— $422,320
    • Kulpmont West (Quaker Run Restoration)— The project will remove existing box culverts, address stream impacts from abandoned underground coal mine subsidence areas, and restore the stream.

Schuylkill County:

  • Ashland Community Enterprises—$605,849
    • Ashland (Pioneer Tunnel)— The project will reclaim multiple AML sites affecting the Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine and Steam Train, a tourist attraction featuring a mine tour and historic mining equipment.

Tioga County:

  • Headwaters Charitable Trust— $131,000
    • Arnot (No. 5 Design)— The project will evaluate chemistry and flow of the Arnot Mine #5 AMD discharge, and design a passive treatment system to treat the AMD discharge to restore and protect Sawmill Creek and Johnson Creek.
  • Susquehanna River Basin Commission— $68,255,481
    • Morris Run Acid Mine Drainage Treatment Plant (Tioga River)— The project will include constructing the Morris Run Acid Mine Drainage Treatment Plant to improve the Tioga Reservoir and 20 miles of stream including the Tioga River, Morris Run, Coal Creek, and Fall Brook.

Westmoreland County:

  • Saint Vincent College— $507,245
    • St. Vincent College (Monastery Run Rehab)— The project will improve the water quality of Wetland #1 and Wetland #2 of the Monastery Run, a passive AMD treatment facility. The effort will further improve the effluent water quality.

Additional AML projects have also been recommended for funding under the Abandoned Mine Land Economic and Revitalization (AMLER) program. The additional projects total nearly $21 million and would be funded by the federal U.S. Department of Treasury. The additional projects require vetting by the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement prior to being formally announced.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, please visit website, or follow DEP on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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