-- D R A F T --
MINING AND RECLAMATION ADVISORY BOARD
Wednesday, July 7, 2000
Ramada Inn, Somerset, PA
Members in attendance: Fred Wolf, Chairman; David Mankamyer; Sue Wilson (alternate); George Ellis (alternate); Mike Young (alternate), and David Strong.
Others in attendance: Bob Dilmore (DOE), Bob Kleinman (DOE), Dave Steele (Somerset Conservation District), Vicki Rock (Daily American, Somerset), Robert Dolence, Rod Fletcher, Shana High, Dave Hogeman, Elaine Holland, Bernie Hoffar, Joseph Schueck, Evan Shuster and Joe Sieber
Meeting Called to Order
The meeting was called to order at 8:10 a.m. Chairman Fred Wolf stated that due to the lack of a quorum, the meeting would be informal. After introductions Mr. Wolf noted that the Board could not approve the minutes since a quorum was not present and opened the discussion to the previous day’s field trip in Somerset and Cambria counties (see attached trip itinerary). The general consensus from attendees was that partnerships make things happen and we made great progress in the past decade on passive treatment systems for Acid Mine Drainage (AMD).
Meeting attendees expressed the following points:
Policy Committee – There is no report; the Policy Committee did not meet.
Reclamation Committee - (Dave Strong, Chairman) Mr. Strong inquired about the Bark Camp Mine Reclamation Laboratory and any pending tours. It was explained the Department had a request from the House Environmental Resources Committee for a fall tour. There is also the possibility of a tour with Tamaqua Borough representatives (Schuylkill County). Dredging is to begin imminently, followed by delivery to Bark Camp, processing and placement. All tour requests are to be coordinated through Rod Fletcher.
The Corps of Engineers project has one dredge project started, another in the works as well as a third possibility. They are working with Norfolk Southern on specifications to construct a siding at Fort Mifflin by the end of the year. Senator Toracelli and Representative Bob Andrews have stated that Pennsylvania benefits from the Delaware deepening project and should also be involved with utilizing the river silt from this as well. The Department will continue to make data and information available.
Regulation/Legislative Technical Committee – There was no report, the Committee did not meet.
Remote Sensing Technology – Ground Survey
(Joe Schueck, Civil Engineering Manager, Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation [BAMR])
Mr. Schueck gave an informative presentation on the role of geophysics in characterizing what is beneath the surface during the design process for reclamation projects. Points address are as follows:
Geophysics eliminates the guess work and saves money by identifying buried highwalls, source areas of acid mine drainage and pooled acid mine drainage, flow paths, buried coal wastes, metal tanks and drums, shallow mine workings and subsidence, stream loss in underground mines, bedrock fracture zones and faults, underground utility lines, coke ovens, metal well casings, and leaking ponds.
Benefits include more data in less time, techniques complement each other, cost effective and accuracy.
Remote Sensing Technology – Aerial Survey
(Bob Dilmore, National Energy Technology Center/U.S. Dept. of Energy [DOE])
Bob Kleinman from the U.S. DOE introduced Bob Dilmore, a Doctoral candidate, who agreed to do the presentation in Terry Ackman’s absence. He gave a power point presentation on aerial remote sensing. This is done with the use of infrared technology from a helicopter that flies approximately 1,500 feet above the surface (the same technology used for defense in the past, but recently for watershed work). Imagery is collected during the winter when the deciduous trees are bare and there is a difference in temperature between surface and subsurface water. Temperature differences as little as 0.1 degree Celsius can be detected.
Mr. Dilmore showed several examples of this technology used throughout the Commonwealth, such as Brinkerton Mine Site Discharge, Sewickley Creek Watershed and Muddy Creek Watershed. With this technology one can detect contaminated water, natural streams, wall leaks and seams. Five different frequencies are utilized simultaneously to view various depths in the ground.
Thermal infrared remote sensing technology proves to be valuable in identifying water pool sources.
Terrain conductivity remote sensing technology appears to be useful in locating mine pools and ground water.
With GIS spatial databases, one can integrate, manage and interpret data.
Mr. Dilmore gave an example of the cost for an area covering the lower Youghiogheny River from Connelsville to Pittsburgh, the Monongahela River from Pittsburgh to West Virginia and the entire district watershed. The cost for the data from an infrared scanner study was approximately $250,000 for approximately 200 square miles.
(Dave Hogeman, DEP, Bureau of Mining Reclamation, on temporary assignment with Growing Greener since December 15, 1999)
Mr. Hogeman passed out two handouts: an updated Reclaim PA executive summary and a folder used at the workshops that includes a Growing Greener application packet. He gave a history of the Growing Greener grant program, which provides $650 million over five years.
The Department completed $37.5 million (i.e., roughly 25 contracts) the first year. Accomplishments include 85 respiration plant demonstration projects, 58 educational projects, 55 assessment and protection plans and the organization of 21 watersheds. Approximately 35-40% of this amount went to acid mine drainage or abandoned mine land projects. Starting July 1 for the next four fiscal years the Department will get $15.5 million dollars per year to fund both grant programs in BAMR and BOGM.
Counties, municipalities, municipal authorities, preservation districts, watershed organizations, educational institutions and non-profit environmental organizations may be eligible for Growing Greener grants. In the first round, Growing Greener received 800 applications totaling $200 million. Three technical reviews are conducted on each application, one staff member reviews it and a numerical score is calculated. Areas of evaluation are proposed accomplishments, likelihood of success, track records, coordination of effort with other parties and matching funds.
Mr. Hogeman gave examples of creative applications and projects that may be considered. He also gave tips for successful applications and examples of allowable and non-allowable costs, other applicable programs and upcoming grants. All grants awarded are listed on the Department’s web site. Other web resources are www.GrowingGreener.org (grant award information, apply on-line, www.PaWatersheds.org (one-stop shop for watershed information), and www.GreenWorksChannel.org (Internet-based video production.
Dave Strong expressed interest in a lecture on passive wetlands and associated problems such as maintenance.
Fred Wolfe stated he would like the Annual Report Committee to meet in the near future
Next Meeting Date and Location
October 26; Rachel Carson State Office Building, Harrisburg.
The meeting adjourned at 11:40 a.m.