Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

OSMRE provides $100,000 to restore watershed in Pottsville, Pennsylvania

Email Contact

WASHINGTON – As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to clean up legacy pollution, protect the environment, and revitalize the economy of coal communities, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) has awarded $100,000 in a cooperative agreement for a watershed restoration project in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. OSMRE’s Watershed Cooperative Agreement Program (WCAP) provides funds to nonprofit organizations for the construction of acid mine drainage treatment facilities that help restore the health of local streams.

Aerial image shows infrastructure and ponds of Otto Colliery Airshaft Discharge Treatment System, in Pottsville, Pennsylvania.
Otto Colliery Airshaft Discharge Treatment
System, in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, was
installed in 2005. Photo courtesy of
Schuylkill Headwaters Association.

“Watersheds are essential for communities, supplying water for municipal, industrial, agricultural, and recreational uses,” said OSMRE Regional Director Tom Shope. “WCAP funds help local nonprofit groups restore watersheds negatively impacted by abandoned mine lands and support citizen-based conservation in coal communities.”

The Schuylkill Headwaters Association, a nonprofit organization in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, dedicated to promoting the environmental health of the Schuylkill River, its tributaries, and the watershed that lies within the boundaries of Schuylkill County, was awarded the WCAP funds to improve the nearby Otto Colliery Airshaft Discharge Treatment System.

“Abandoned mine drainage from the Otto Colliery Airshaft Discharge is one of the largest sources of pollution in the Schuylkill River watershed,” said Bill Reichert, president of the Schuylkill Headwaters Association. “The WCAP funds will go towards addressing existing operational problems and prevent future problems, while providing greater treatment efficiency than the original system.”

About the WCAP Program

WCAP grants are selected through a competitive merit review process and can fund the installation of passive or active water treatment systems, as well as the reclamation of lands that contribute sediment or acid forming materials to streams. WCAP grants result in partnerships that encourage long-term commitment to projects through engagement with local communities and environmental conservation groups.


OSMRE carries out the requirements of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 in cooperation with states and Tribes. OSMRE’s objectives are to ensure that coal mining activities are conducted in a manner that protects citizens and the environment during mining, to ensure that the land is restored to beneficial use after mining and to mitigate the effects of past mining by aggressively pursuing reclamation of abandoned coal mines.