The $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, signed into law November 15 by President Joe Biden, will not only help fix Pennsylvania’s crumbling roads and bridges but address cleaning up the state’s abandoned coal mine legacy.
The legislation includes extending federal funding through the Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program, which helps fund projects to address abandoned mine lands and mine drainage. Administered through our partners at the PA Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, the fund supports projects similar to the Conservancy’s abandoned mine drainage treatment facilities in Bennett Branch Forest in Elk and Clearfield counties, and one currently under construction in Fayette County near Fallingwater.
Thanks to this action by Congress, this new law will continue this necessary and important funding for years to come to help Pennsylvania’s remaining orange, contaminated streams run clear and host native fish and wildlife again.
Read more about our work at Bennett Branch Forest to restore Cherry Run, a tributary stream to the West Branch Sinnemahoning Creek, from abandoned mine drainage, on pages 7-9 of Conserve Magazine.
About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) enhances the region by protecting and restoring exceptional places. A private nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC has helped establish 11 state parks, conserved more than a quarter million acres of natural lands, protected or restored more than 3,000 miles of rivers and streams, and accessed hundreds of wildlife species and their habitats. The Conservancy owns and operates Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and symbolizes people living in harmony with nature. In addition, WPC enriches our region’s cities and towns through 130 community gardens and other green spaces that are planted with the help of more than 5,000 volunteers. The work of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is accomplished through the support of more than 9,000 members. For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org or Fallingwater.org.
Director of Communications