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OSMRE provides $30,000 to reduce pollution in Cold Stream watershed

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WASHINGTON – As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to clean up legacy pollution and revitalize the environment and economy of coal communities, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement has awarded $30,000 in a cooperative agreement for a watershed restoration project in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania. OSMRE’s Watershed Cooperative Agreement Program (WCAP) provides funds to nonprofit organizations for the construction of acid mine drainage treatment facilities that help to restore the health of local streams.

“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 harmed by abandoned mine lands and support citizen-based conservation in coal communities.”

Mine Drift treatment basin after being drained in preparation for rehabilitation work. Photo courtesy of Moshannon Creek Watershed Association.
Mine Drift treatment basin after being drained in
preparation for rehabilitation work. Photo
courtesy of Moshannon Creek Watershed

Moshannon Creek Watershed Association, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting and improving Moshannon Creek and its tributary streams, was awarded the WCAP funds to repair the Mine Drift water treatment system. This reclamation project will ensure acid mine drainage is treated before being released into the Cold Stream watershed. Once repaired, the Mine Drift water treatment system will clean 7.88 million gallons of mine water per year. Cold Stream is a popular place for fishing and is also home to the Cold Stream Dam Recreational Area, a heavily used park in Philipsburg.

“Mine Drift is one of a series of mine drainage treatment systems that MCWA is working to rehabilitate on Cold Stream, and the first for which we have received a substantial repair grant, said Eric Rosengrant, president of the Moshannon Creek Watershed Association. “We plan to use this reclamation project as a demonstration to the community of how the problem of acid mine drainage can be addressed to generate more local interest towards repairing the other systems.”  

About the WCAP Program:

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


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.