MINERAL CITY, OH — The Thomas Acid Mine Drainage Reclamation Project, located in the Carroll County portion of the Huff Run Watershed, received a national 2011 Abandoned Mine Lands Reclamation award, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mineral Resources Management.
Ohio was one of five states honored by the U.S. Department of Interior for exceptional reclamation of abandoned mine lands and exemplary reclamation techniques.
“A group of dedicated professionals and volunteers turned around a 100-year-old environmental problem,” said Chief Lanny Erdos, Division of Mineral Resources Management. “Water quality has been improved, 11 native fish species have returned to Huff Run and the landscape boasts better wildlife habitat.”
The award recognition was the culmination of a partnership between the Huff Run Watershed Restoration Partnership, Inc., a citizens’ watershed group, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Red Malcuit Excavating, Inc., of Strasburg and the Division of Mineral Resources Management.
Design plans were developed by ODNR staff, which also provided construction oversight by Paul Greco.
The Thomas AMD project addressed reclamation needs at two sites in the Huff
Activities included removing and treating mine impoundments, treating and applying soil cover on acidic mine waste, installing rock channel erosion controls and removing toxic metal discharges during drainage.
Fourteen acres of barren land were transformed into a rolling vegetated landscape that now provides improved wildlife habitat. Construction began in 2009 and involved moving approximately 75,000 cubic yards of earth.
The project captured drainage from two abandoned deep mines and reclaimed three surface impoundments during the process. About 5 million gallons of water were treated and released.
The project was completed in 2010 at a cost of $499,974.
The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement presented its awards at a conference sponsored by the National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs in California last month.
More information about the restoration of the Huff Run Watershed can be found on the Huff Run Watershed Restoration Partnership’s website at http://www.huffrun.org .