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Stream Quality Assessment Emphasizing Abandoned Mine Drainage in the Shimel Run Watershed, Clearfield County, PA

Shimel Run

View asssessment results.

The Moshannon Creek Watershed Coalition (MCWC) in partnership with the Houtzdale Boy Scout Troop are proposing to assess the impact of acid discharges and abandoned mine lands and complete a restoration plan for the Shimel Run watershed. The goal of this project is to locate, map and sample all abandoned mine discharges and map all abandoned mine lands in the Shimel Run watershed. Data from this initial reconnaissance will be used to determine where continued sampling will occur. Once sampling is complete, a restoration plan will be developed for this watershed. The restoration plan can then be used by interested parties to develop future remediation projects that will help alleviate the impact of acid mine drainage (AMD) on both Shimel Run and its receiving stream, Moshannon Creek.

The Shimel Run watershed is located in Central Pennsylvania in Clearfield County. The watershed is located on the Houtzdale USGS 7.5-minute series topographic map. The Shimel Run watershed encompasses approximately 690 acres. Approximately 2.5 miles of stream are impacted on the main channel. This watershed is impaired due to the impacts of AMD emanating from abandoned mine lands; however, it has not yet been added to the 303(d) list because Shimel Run has not been assessed.

The headwaters of Shimel Run originate near Drane, and the stream enters Moshannon Creek northeast of Osceola Mills just off of State Route 53. This stream was recommended for an assessment by the PADEP due to its ease of access and ability to be restored. It has been impacted by AMD, but the project partners feel confident that through passive treatment technology, it can be restored. Before the remediation efforts can begin, it is necessary to develop a restoration plan through an assessment of the AMD impacts and abandoned mine lands.

In order to complete the watershed assessment, MCWC has partnered with the Houtzdale Boy Scout Troop. This has been an important and successful relationship for both parties. The Boy Scouts have been actively involved in stream walks throughout the Moshannon Creek watershed and are anxious to adopt a stream and begin an assessment of their own. In return, they have been exposed to an environmental issue that affects their local environment and are faced with the challenge of aiding in a resolution. They will play a vital role in the success of the assessment project and future remediation of Shimel Run.

The main product of the assessment will be a restoration plan to be used by all project partners as a road map for the restoration of Shimel Run. Education will play a vital role in this project through public meetings and, more importantly, through the involvement of the Houtzdale Boy Scout Troop. This project is a wonderful opportunity to involve area youth with environmental issues and form strong foundations for lifetime commitments to the local environment and community involvement.