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New ATV trail work part of mine reclamation project

From staff reports

RENOVO — Nearly 5,000 feet of ATV trails will be built amid an environmental cleanup project in Clinton County announced by the state Department of Environmental Protection recently.

The work is among seven projects receiving a total of $25 million in federal funding as officials continue to revitalize abandoned mine land across Pennsylvania.

“The approved abandoned mine cleanup projects will help eliminate public health and safety hazards and improve stream, groundwater, and land quality,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “The funding is an important investment in the community from environmental, recreational, and economic development standpoints.”

The local community and economic development projects include three surface mine reclamation projects, one acid mine drainage treatment or remediation project, three coal refuse pile/culm bank remediation projects, and a historic mining preservation project to move a historic mine fan and other artifacts to a mine museum.

Project funding comes from the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) 2018 AML Pilot Program, which specifically targets abandoned mine cleanup projects that are linked to local community and economic development goals.

This is the third year that Pennsylvania has received funding from the AML Pilot Program.

In Clinton County, at Huling Branch East, work will involve the reclamation of 3,000 feet of dangerous highwalls, a 10-acre dangerous pile and embankment consisting of acid-forming shale, a half-acre slurry pond, and two acres of gob material.

The project includes construction of 5,000 feet of ATV trails within Sproul State Forest, construction of a grass parking area and flat area to be used by helicopters for emergency evacuations, improvement of trout stocking fisheries, and will establish a more natural environment for elk which are starting to migrate toward the area. The project will encourage tourism, outdoor recreation, and improve watershed quality.

The work will be bid. A cost estimate as not provided.

Another project is in Clearfield County at the Morgan Run Recreational Facility-West Decatur Post Office.

Work involves reclamation of 3,700 feet of dangerous highwall, 20 acres of spoil area, and seven acres of subsidence area. The project will lead to the expanded use of the facilities for CenClear and other local organizations, a mile of multi-use recreational trail, a parking lot for public using the facility, and an increase of jobs for CenClear.

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