REILLY TOWNSHIP – Local officials and project leaders gathered this morning to get a firsthand look at the results of a recently completed abandoned mine reclamation project in Reilly Township.
Reilly Township Supervisor Gerald Devine, Senator David G. Argall (R-29) and Ed Kleha, legislative aide to Representative Neal Goodman (D-123), met with project leaders, including Project Manager Rodney Webb, Construction Inspector Kent Pheasant, Designer David Jansson and Matthew Belding of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
The project was led by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Mine Reclamation.
Reilly Township Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald Devine emphasized the importance of this local land development.
“The township has pursued this project for a while and we are thankful to see these much-needed funds, which are generated from the mining industry, being put to good use,” said Devine. “I’m glad to see this project completed to restore the property back to its original landscape.”
“A little more than a year ago, Representative Goodman and I announced the funding for this important project,” said Argall. “These abandoned strip mines not only leave major eyesores, but also present grave safety concerns to local residents and visitors. I am grateful for the hard work and leadership of Mike Korb and his team at the Bureau of Mine Reclamation to get this important local project completed on-time.”
Michael C. Korb, P.E., Environmental Program Manager for the Bureau of Mine Reclamation at DEP, stated that completing this project required officials working together.
“I want to thank Senator Argall for calling local attention to the work the people of DEP’s Bureau of Abandoned Mines do in reclaiming abandoned mines,” said Korb. “Projects done by the Bureau have gained national recognition each of the past seven years and projects like the one done at Newtown, where we have reclaimed dangerous water-filled pits and have addressed several polluted minewater seeps with passive treatment, are fine examples of reclaiming hazardous abandoned mine features and restoring lands and waters affected by legacy mining.”
The contract provided for mobilization and demobilization, implementation of the erosion and sediment pollution control plan, grading of 262,216 cubic yards, drainage excavation of 8,902 cubic yards, rock lining of 2,627 square yards and seeding of 49.1 acres. Most importantly, it eliminated public health and safety hazards by dewatering hazardous water bodies, along with closing mine openings and backfilling and grading strip pits. The total length of dangerous highwall totaled 3,500 feet.
Korb added, “Newtown is also a continuation of a great partnership with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the U. S. Office of Surface Mining on a number of projects in the area and throughout the state. We are really proud of the good work that we and our contractors do, and appreciate the chance to show it.”
Senator Argall (right) reviews a recently completed mine reclamation project in Reilly Township with officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Abandoned Mines and local township officials.
A view of the recently completed abandoned mine reclamation project in Reilly Township.