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Abandoned Mine Drainage Project on Loop Run: LR10

Loop Run: LR-10

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) is proposing to design and construct a passive treatment system to abate LR-10, an abandoned mine discharge that flows into Loop Run. The Loop Run watershed is located in West Keating Township, Clinton County, Pennsylvania and flows through a 4,400 acre parcel of land, formerly known as the Kelley Estate. In 2001, RMEF sold the Kelley Estate to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Approximately 3,300 acres were purchased by the PGC and are currently being managed as State Game Lands #321. The remaining 1,100 acres, which includes over one mile of river frontage along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, is being managed as "Old Growth Forest" in the Sproul State Forest by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry. Both parcels are open to the public for recreational activities.

The Kelley Estate was initially impacted by several deep mines located throughout the property. Additional damage caused by Pre-act surface mining in the 1940s and 1950s left the area in total devastation. Subsequent remining under stricter environmental regulations brought improvements to the area but, unfortunately, the entire area was not remined and restored due to economically irretrievable coal in some areas. Thus, mine drainage discharges are affecting the water quality of Loop Run.

LR-10 is a channel discharge that emanates from a spoil area. The channel collects additional seepage from two large "dead zones" of laminar water flow that have created iron mats. The RMEF has previously received a Growing Greener grant to perform a watershed assessment and complete a restoration plan for the Loop Run watershed. This restoration plan was completed in June 2004. It is recommended in the restoration plan that the LR-10 discharge be treated at the lower end of the channel before entering Loop Run. Although the channel itself will not be improved, the main stem of Loop Run will benefit greatly from this treatment option.

This AMD remediation project has been divided into two phases in order to make the project more manageable. Phase I will involve completion of the design and permitting for the LR-10 abatement project including surveying, design work, engineering, construction of an access road, and completion of all required permitting. Phase II will involve the actual construction/installation of the passive treatment system.