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Relocation of the Headwaters of Emigh Run

Emigh Run: Weir in Headwaters

The Emigh Run Lakeside Watershed Association (ERLWA) is proposing to relocate the headwaters of Emigh Run. Through the initial assessment of Emigh Run performed by the ERLWA and the West Branch Area School District (WBASD), it was determined that relocating a portion of the headwaters of the stream will allow us to significantly restore 0.42 miles of stream. The headwaters now flow through an abandoned surface mine spoil area, which degrades the water quality. The spoil area is the first source of pollution to Emigh Run, and the proposed stream relocation would be the first step in restoring Emigh Run and the Lakeside Dam.

Funding has previously been awarded for project design, engineering, and permitting. The ongoing channel design includes a simple natural stream channel which will begin in the headwaters and circumvent the spoil area by flowing through an existing, parallel channel created by a natural spring. This project has been discussed with the PA Fish and Boat Commission, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Office of Surface Mining as a preliminary step in the project. They are all supportive of the project and spent an additional field day collecting information to aid in the design.

The project would eliminate pollutant loadings to the headwaters, allowing the existing, unpolluted water quality upstream of the spoil area to be maintained. A length of 0.42 miles of headwaters would be restored by the project. Wetland impacts will be minimal, and the project will result in improvements in water quality flowing into an existing wetland. The appropriate water management and wetland permits are currently being obtained.

The Emigh Run Watershed is located in Central Pennsylvania in Boggs Township, Clearfield County. The watershed is located on the USGS 7.5 minute series topographic maps of Wallaceton and Philipsburg near Morrisdale, PA. A project location map has been provided with this application.

Emigh Run is a subwatershed of Moshannon Creek. The Moshannon Creek Watershed totals 288 square miles as it flows through 8 townships and two counties. The Operation Scarlift Report on Moshannnon Creek indicates that Moshannon Creek was (and still is) significantly degraded by abandoned mine drainage (AMD). The Creek contributed to 130,000 pounds per day (lb/day) of acidity to the West Branch Susquehanna River in 1973, degrading the river for many miles below its confluence with Moshannon Creek. The proposed project would remove acidity and metals loadings from Emigh Run and subsequently, Moshannon Creek.