The Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) has awarded approximately US$1 million in cooperative agreements to non-profit watershed restoration groups in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, US.
The funds, part of OSMRE’s Watershed Cooperative Agreement Program (WCAP), provide supplemental financial assistance to non-profit watershed restoration groups and other non-profit organisations for the construction of acid mine drainage (AMD) treatment facilities that help restore the biological health of local streams.
“The vital work being done in conjunction with partners to restore the usability of abandoned mine lands is yet another example of Interior’s multiple-use mission of conservation in action,” said US Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke.
Five non-profit organisations across Appalachia will share the funding for work on ten AMD projects selected through the merit review process for federal funding opportunities. WCAP grants result in partnerships that encourage long-term commitment to projects through engagement with local communities and environmental conservation.
Between 1999 and 2017, OSMRE awarded 299 cooperative agreement grants totalling nearly US$27 million. With a contribution ratio of 2.5 to 1, approximately US$65 million has been leveraged from additional sources to further the clean-up of streams affected by AMD.
The following watershed projects will benefit from this round of OSMRE WCAP grants:
US$200 000 - Ilesboro Road
This project will eliminate and reclaim 34 acres of abandoned coal mining spoil piles that are severely depositing material into the West Branch of Raccoon Creek, causing degraded water quality, siltation and down-stream flooding.
US$100 000 - Big Run Enhancement
This project, located in Pennsylvania’s Blackleggs Creek Watershed, will rehabilitate an existing AMD treatment system to assure its continuing efficient operation and improve water quality in support of a trout fishery.
US$100 000 - Hayes Run
This project, located in Pennsylvania’s Little Toby Creek Watershed, will rehabilitate an existing AMD treatment system to assure its continuing efficient operation for years to come and support a trout fishery.
US$23 500 - Howe Bridge Rehabilitation
This project, in Pennsylvania’s Mill Creek Watershed, will rehabilitate an existing AMD treatment system to assure its continuing efficient operation and maintaining improved water quality in Mill Creek to support a warm water fishery.
US$54 755 - Filson 1 and 2 Rehabilitation
This project, also located in Pennsylvania’s Mill Creek Watershed, will rehabilitate an existing AMD treatment system to assure its continuing efficient operation and maintain improved water quality in support a warm water fishery.
US$89 200 - Kyler Run Anoxic Limestone Drain #1 (ALD1) Rehabilitation
This project, located in Pennsylvania’s Little Toby Creek Watershed, will rehabilitate an existing AMD treatment system to assure its continuing efficient operation for years to come, thereby, maintaining improved water quality in Kyler Run and Little Toby Creek to support a trout fishery.
US$82 000 - Kyler Run Anoxic Limestone Drain #2 (ALD2) Rehabilitation
Also located in Pennsylvania’s Little Toby Creek Watershed, this project will rehabilitate an existing AMD treatment system and assure continued efficient operation for years to come. The result will maintain improved water quality and support local trout.
US$100 000 - Sandy Run
This project was originally constructed over 10 years ago but has not been treating AMD effectively. The new project will renovate five AMD treatment ponds on a three-acre site. The newer treatment method will involve the completion of a passive AMD treatment system that will accomplish two primary goals:
- Decrease the loads of acidity, iron, and aluminum so that segments of Kanes Creek located upstream of the Upper Deckers Creek impoundment #5 are no longer impaired; and
- Decrease the contaminants flowing downstream through Kanes Creek and Deckers Creek, resulting in lower pollutant levels.
US$99 900 - Swamp Run #2
The project, located on a three-acre site, involves the installation of a passive AMD treatment system that will reduce acid and metal loads entering Swamp Run, a tributary of the Buckhannon River, by 80%. This reduction in load will allow this tributary to meet the State’s total daily maximum load requirements.
US$93 600 - Valley Highwall #3 Upgrade
This project is located on a one-acre site that consists of an active lime dosing unit that was installed several years ago. Although effective in treating AMD, the iron precipitant produced by the treatment system does not have the proper area for mixing and settling. The system, consequently, had to be taken off line. The WCAP funding will allow for the treatment facility to become operational once again with the installation of a new technology that will address the mixing and settling issue, as well as lower maintenance costs for the AMD treatment system.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/special-reports/28062018/us-department-of-interior-provides-us1-million-in-conservation-funding-for-watershed-restoration/