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Abandoned Mine Drainage Project on Morgan Run: Discharge MR-7 (Beaver Dam Discharge)

Morgan Run: MR-7

The Clearfield County Conservation District (CCCD) in association with the Morgan Run Watershed Group (MRWG) is proposing to design and install a passive treatment system that will abate an abandoned mine drainage (AMD) discharge, MR-7 that flows into Morgan Run. The Conservation District received a Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed grant to prepare a restoration plan on Morgan Run. This grant is in conjunction with Growing Greener funds that were awarded to complete an assessment on Clearfield Creek and work being conducted by the Susquehanna River Basin Commission. All previous studies will be compiled in order to develop the restoration plan. Funding was also obtained to perform the design and permitting work on the first two priority projects in the watershed and will be submitted to Growing Greener for construction in the spring of 2005. Discharge, MR-7, is the third priority project in the watershed and the next step in the overall restoration of Morgan Run.

The MR-7 discharge is located two miles downstream from the headwaters of Morgan Run. Through previous grant awards, two discharges in the headwaters are being addressed and Morgan Run will be restored to where the discharge of MR-7 enters the stream. Through previous studies, data has been collected at this site monthly for more than one year. The landowner has been contacted and has given permission to proceed with the project. In order to collect all of the necessary data and make this project more manageable, this project will be completed in phases. Phase I will include the completion of a detailed design plan for a treatment system to abate the MR-7 discharge. It will also include obtaining the necessary permitting to begin Phase II of the project. Phase II will include the actual construction/installation of the passive treatment system at MR-7.

The discharge at MR-7 emanates from an abandoned clay mine portal that flows into a large impoundment created by beavers. At least one other small tributary enters the impoundment and joins the discharge before it flows into Morgan Run via a large channel. This site is identified as the Passmore Mine in the Clearfield Creek Operation Scarlift Report. Both coal and clay were removed from this site during the life of the mining operation. The underground mines at this site are subsiding, and the area would benefit from surface reclamation before a passive treatment system is constructed. The Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation (BAMR) has been contacted regarding this phase of the project. Numerous steps will need to occur at this site before remediation of the discharge takes place. The first step will be to separate the water through ditching so that only the discharge will be treated. Reclamation on the surface should occur to decrease infiltration into the mine and alleviate safety hazards. Once these activities are completed, additional monitoring will be necessary and then final design can occur. All of these steps will be a part of the overall site design and the design and permitting phase of this project.

The MR-7 discharge is contributing 485 lbs/day of acidity, 166 lbs/day of iron and 20 lbs/day of aluminum to the main stem of Morgan Run. Through the remediation of this discharge, a significant pollution load will no longer affect Morgan Run. It will also restore a 0.5 mile stretch of stream until the next discharges enter from State Game Lands #98. Both the CCCD and MRWG recognize the impact this discharge has on the stream and the need to address it. Accordingly, the partners have turned to NMBS/ARE, Inc. to provide professional support in this endeavor. The project partners view the completion of this project as an important milestone in their ultimate goal of restoring Morgan Run to a cold water fishery.