Clinton County Mine Stabilization Project Completed

Fri, 01/29/2010


Contact:  Amy Wolfe (570)-748-4901

Clinton County Mine Stabilization Project Completed

Project will prevent future abandoned mine blowout

Lock Haven, Pa.—Trout Unlimited (TU) and the Kettle Creek Watershed Association completed a mine pool stabilization project on an abandoned deep mine in western Clinton County, preventing a mine blowout that could have released millions of gallons of acid mine drainage to Kettle Creek and ultimately into the West Branch Susquehanna River.  

"The completion of this project goes a long way towards preventing a potentially serious environmental disaster," said Amy Wolfe, TU's Eastern Abandoned Mine Program Director. "We are fortunate to have identified this possible blowout situation because in most cases there is no advance warning."

The mine, located in Bitumen, Pa., has been abandoned for nearly a hundred years and the mine entries have been collapsed for decades.  The collapsed mine entries caused water levels to increase in the mine that could have, under the right conditions, resulted in a significant blowout of highly polluted water that would flow directly into Kettle Creek.  By installing an underground water collection system, the water does not build up in the mine.

The project is located on state forest land in Noyes Township and was funded by grants from the state's Growing Greener Grant Program, the Richard King Mellon Foundation and the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds. The project cost just over $200,000, including evaluation of the mine pool conditions, the installation of the new drainage system and the weekly monitoring that will continue for the next six months to ensure the project's success.

TU and the Kettle Creek Watershed Association have completed more than a dozen projects that collect and treat polluted water that flows from abandoned surface and deep mines in the lower Kettle Creek watershed.  

Currently, the two groups are working on the design for a treatment system that will address the first major source of mine drainage to Twomile Run, a tributary to Kettle Creek. Construction will begin on that project next year.

The abandoned mine drainage cleanup work in Kettle Creek is a major focus of TU's West Branch Susquehanna Restoration Initiative, a project that has been in existence since 2004.  The project works to restore more than 1,200 stream miles polluted by abandoned mine drainage throughout the West Branch Susquehanna River basin.   
Trout Unlimited is North America's leading coldwater fisheries conservation organization, with more than 140,000 members dedicated to conserving, protecting, and restoring North America's coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.  


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