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History of Acid Mine Drainage Treatment Facilities Constructed Under "Operation Scarlift"

Introduction

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Environmental Protection, and its predecessor agencies, the Department of Environmental Resources and the Department of Mines & Mineral Industries, have constructed 16 acid mine drainage (AMD) treatment facilities in the Anthracite and Bituminous Regions from 1967 to 1992. Presently, DEP operates and maintains five of those treatment facilities. Treatment plants still in operation include Swamp Creek (SL106-3), Rausch Creek (SL112-1), Toby Creek (SL 132-5-106.2), Coal Hollow (SL 132-5-106.2) and Wildwood (SL 198-2).

Purpose

The purpose of the report is to provide a brief history of the constructed AMD treatment facilities, the current status of each plant with a succinct and straight forward explanation of the plants' complexity or simplicity, and operating success and problems. A brief discussion explaining why the plant may not be operational at this time is also included. This document was developed to memorialize the history of each plant and to accurately record and dispel any misconceptions regarding the reasons for continued operation or closure.

Funding

The primary sources of funding for the construction and operation and maintenance of these facilities has been the Scarlift Bond Issue (Project 500 or Operation Scarlift). The Scarlift Program was implemented through bond issue funding and authorized by legislation enacted as part of the "Land and Water Conservation Act" of 1968. Beginning in 2003, funding for ongoing operation and maintenance is provided from Title IV of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 through the AMD Set-Aside Program.

To view the full report, click here: AMD Abatement Facilities Constructed in Pennsylvania under 'Operation Scarlift' (PDF)