The awardees, which include eight former bituminous coal sites in Allegheny, Armstrong, Cambria, Clearfield, Clinton and Washington counties, and six former anthracite sites in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Schuylkill and Carbon counties, will utilize the money to conduct land cleanup and remedy tainted water. The DEP did not release how much each site will receive.
The agency said several of the locations have plans already in place or under way to convert land for other uses, such as industrial parks, or to boost recreational and tourism use. Some involved the potential use of mine water for building cooling/heating, three will clean up waterway acid mine drainage, and one recipient will use the funding to extinguish a long-burning coal fire.
“We’re not merely reclaiming abandoned mine sites,” said Patrick McDonnel, acting department secretary. “We’re working with partners to develop these sites as economic engines in a variety of ways.”
The DEP awards about $27 million annually to remediation projects across Pennsylvania using federal production fees assessed to active mines.