Tour of a successful mined land reclamation project discusses the revitalizing role of the $4.5 billion Restore Pennsylvania program

On June 6, 2019, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) hosted a tour of the recently completed Contrary Run abandoned mine land reclamation project on State Game Lands 100 near the town of Snow Shoe in Centre County.

They also discussed how the new $4.5 billion Restore Pennsylvania program could accelerate investment in the recovery of land and water resources impacted by the legacy of abandoned mines.

The completed Contrary Run project shows the outstanding results possible when two state agencies work together to achieve shared goals,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Restore Pennsylvania would accelerate the ongoing efforts to recover the 200,000 acres of abandoned mine land remaining across 43 Pennsylvania counties and the over 19,000 miles of streams and rivers failing to meet state and federal water quality standards.

Restore Pennsylvania is a statewide plan to aggressively address the commonwealth’s vital infrastructure needs. Funded through a commonsense severance tax, Restore Pennsylvania is designed to make Pennsylvania a regenerative leader in the 21st century.

At the Contrary Run project, 40 acres of abandoned mine land were reclaimed using biosolids application and a passive water treatment system was installed in 2018 using a $1 million DEP Growing Greener grant and a PGC match of $177,761.

The project dramatically improved water quality on 2,400 feet of stream, created habitat for elk and other wildlife, and eliminated 3,375 feet of dangerous highwall.

Representatives from DEP, PGC, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), which sponsored the project, discussed the restoration work and unveiled an educational sign installed at the site.

RMEF volunteers and members of the media went on a walking tour of the Contrary Run project, followed by a driving tour of previously-completed abandoned mine land reclamation projects on State Game Lands 100.

Photos courtesy of Pennsylvania DEP.

Learn more about the Restore Pennsylvania plan.

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