Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and Partners Stop a Pollution Source at Little Mahoning Creek

Fri, Aug 29th 2008, 09:52. Filed under News Releases.

Group rebuilds road to prevent erosion and sediment pollution

Blairsville, PA - August 29, 2008 - The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) took a significant step to stop a pollution source at Little Mahoning Creek this month through a partnership with the Indiana County Conservation District, the Penn State Center for Dirt and Gravel Roads and North Mahoning Township. The group completed its first dirt and gravel road repair work to stop runoff from a half-mile stretch of Mottarn Road, which runs parallel to Little Mahoning Creek. The organizations selected this road for the project because of its condition and proximity to the creek.

Pollution from runoff is responsible for 88 percent of all impaired stream miles in Pennsylvania, with sediment and dust from dirt and gravel roads topping the list of major contributors, according the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

“Working with our partners, we’ve put in place techniques that not only prevent sediment and dust pollution but also save resources by extending the life of the road,” said WPC’s senior director of watershed conservation, Nick Pinizzotto. “We put in eleven new underground pipes, regraded the road and resurfaced it using shale and fly ash supplied by the Penn State Center for Dirt and Gravel Roads.”

The Indiana County Conservation District contributed $10,000 from the Commonwealth’s Dirt and Gravel Road Maintenance Program and WPC added $25,000 through a grant from the Colcom Foundation. The partners hope to continue this important work on roads that impact Little Mahoning Creek.

“Repairing Mottarn Road was a good first step in protecting Little Mahoning Creek,” said Anne Daymut, watershed specialist for the Indiana County Conservation District. “WPC oversaw the construction of the project and consulted on developing the plans. It was a good partnership.”

In the last century, Little Mahoning Creek escaped significant damage from abandoned mine drainage, making it a rarity among Western Pennsylvania watersheds. Today, this watershed is home to an abundance of fish, aquatic insects, and freshwater mussels, as well as the eastern hellbender salamander. Classified as a high-quality cold water fishery, the stream draws trout anglers from across the nation. The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and its partners are working to protect the high quality of this important watershed for future generations.

About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
To date, the Conservancy has protected nearly 225,000 acres of natural lands in Pennsylvania. Now in its 76th year, Pennsylvania’s first conservancy continues to partner with grassroots organizations to protect land, restore watersheds and save natural habitats.

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) preserves Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater®, which was designed in 1935 and entrusted to the Conservancy in 1963 by Edgar Kaufmann jr. A symbol of living in harmony with nature, Fallingwater is open to the public and offers a wide variety of educational programs to its more than 135,000 annual visitors.

Each year, WPC plants and maintains community gardens and greening projects throughout Western Pennsylvania. In 2007, WPC partnered with more than 5,300 volunteers and dozens of community organizations to plant 140 gardens in 19 western Pennsylvania counties.

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3)
of the Internal Revenue Code, and 100% of your donation is tax-deductable as allowed by law.