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Design and Permitting of a Passive Treatment Project on Morgan Run: Discharge MR FROG

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 FROG that flows into Morgan Run using funds obtained through the Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grant Program, along with additional funding through the Western PA Small Watershed Grant Program. The Conservation District received a Growing Greener grant to perform a watershed assessment on Clearfield Creek which was completed in June 2003. The assessment has shown Morgan Run to be a significant source of pollution to Clearfield Creek, but with discharges that can be passively treated. Ranking of the tributaries polluting Clearfield Creek, place Morgan Run as the sixth largest polluter. This stream is a priority for restoration in the project plan for Clearfield Creek. The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) is also working to develop a TMDL on Clearfield Creek. This includes using the existing data and collecting additional data from the mouths of the tributaries. This is an important step in the eventual restoration of Clearfield Creek, which must begin with cleaning up the polluting tributaries.

MR FROG is located near the headwaters of Morgan Run. Treating this discharge in conjunction with MR TUFF in the headwaters, will restore over 2 miles of Morgan Run. We have been collecting data on this discharge for one year and have contacted and received permission from the landowners to proceed with the project. However, we feel that in order to collect all of the necessary data, we will complete the project in Phases. For Phase I, CCCD will complete the detailed design and permitting of a treatment plan that will address MR FROG. The CCCD will then proceed with Phase II, the construction and installation of the passive treatment system.

MR FROG enters Morgan Run 3500 feet below MR TUFF and is contributing 6.8 lbs/day of acidity, 1 lb/day of iron, and 1.2 lbs/day of aluminum. This discharge may not be as severe as others, but its clean-up, in conjunction with MR TUFF will have a significant impact to the overall water quality of Morgan Run. Their treatment will give the stream a boost of alkalinity in the headwaters to be carried the 2.0 miles until a large clay mine discharge enters. Both the CCCD and MRWG recognize the impact these discharges have 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 Morgan Run Watershed is located in Central Pennsylvania in Clearfield County. The watershed is located on the USGS 7.5 minute series topographic maps of Wallaceton and Glen Richey. Morgan Run is contributing a total of 1063 lbs/day of acidity and over 434 lbs/day of metals to Clearfield Creek where it enters at Dimeling. The Morgan Run Watershed is used recreationally by outdoorsmen through hiking and hunting. It would be a large benefit to the area to be able to once again fish Morgan Run. State Gamelands 98 is located along the stream and future projects have the support of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Local supporters have pledged assistance in that the stream is in their backyard and they would like to see Morgan Run cleaned-up.

Final products would be the completion of the design of the project, including engineering, E&S controls, and bid packages if necessary. The design would be complete in that it could be handed a contractor to begin construction. The permitting would also be completed for this area. Most likely a Joint Permit between PADEP and the Army Corp of Engineers would be needed due to the potential impacts to a wetland. A final report would be completed.