Water Resources Program 2019-2021

Key Project:

Complete Rausch Creek Mine Pool Study


Priority Water Resources Need:

Remediate Abandoned Mine Drainage Impacts


Project Location:

Southern Anthracite Coal Field Region, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania


Project Lead:

Project Description:

Rausch Creek Mine Pool Abandoned Mine Drainage (AMD) is a legacy of 19th and 20th Century coal mining throughout Pennsylvania’s coal fields that accounts for nearly 20% of the Commonwealth’s aquatic life impairments. Portions of the Rausch Creek Watershed remain AMD‐impacted despite operation by PADEP since 1972 of an active treatment plant that vastly reduces AMD pollution. The treatment plant was designed to treat the entire Rausch Creek flow, but the plant is situated downstream of several AMD sources, as well as tributaries not impacted by AMD and streamflow occasionally exceeds the treatment plant capacity. Despite the overall effectiveness of treatment at reducing pollution, periodic untreated flows are preventing complete recovery of the Rausch Creek Watershed. SRBC and a group of partners are working collaboratively to develop a plan to increase the efficiency of AMD treatment to promote recovery of the aquatic resource.


Challenges:
  • Acquisition of funding to implement anticipated capital improvements needed to the treatment operation

Key Milestones:
  • •  Complete mine pool characterization study report
    (May 2018)
  • •  Finalize/submit draft AMD Conveyance Plan to PADEP
    (December 2018)
  • •  Finalize contractor bid package
    (May 2019)