These projects have been recently completed or are still under construction. Check out our Project Updates blog for current information and updates!
Ilesboro Road Reclamation Project
Expected start date: February 5, 2018
Expected completion date: December 21, 2018 – Note: Due to excessive 2018 rainfall, this project has been winterized and will resume in spring 2019
The Ilesboro Road Reclamation Project is within the West Branch of Raccoon Creek. The West Branch contains many reclaimed ridge top surface mines, though a group of abandoned surface mine sites on the western watershed boundary with Brushy Creek still impair the watershed. Historic surface mining (Middle Kittanning Coal, No. 6) was conducted during the 1950’s. The strip-mined area is identified on the New Plymouth Ohio USGS 7.5’ quadrangle map published in 1961 and revised in 1975, 1985 and 1992. Ilesboro Road Reclamation Project is located within West Branch of Raccoon Creek subwatershed. The proposed project consists of approximately 34 acres of abandoned coal mine spoil. Two large pits that contain approximately 2 million gallons of AMD seep through the spoil and then as seepage from the hillside along the coal pit floor. Typical water quality in the pits and subsequent tributary drainage is: pH between 3.17-4.36, acidity from 71-337 mg/l, iron from 0.05-1.12 mg/l, and aluminum from 8.69-49.4 mg/l. Aluminum is the dominant AMD metal present, likely due to the large presence of shales and clays in the spoil. Streams in the project area are clogged with sediment and spoil that have been deposited from the unreclaimed surface mine. Remediation of this site (composed of coal mine spoil and strip pits) will eliminate these direct inputs of AMD and sediment into West Branch of Raccoon Creek. In addition to the environmental benefits, this project encompasses Priority 2 Dangerous Spoil Piles which will be removed from the site as a result of the project.
The Ilesboro Road Reclamation Project was awarded to Ohio Erie Excavating, LLC, and is expected to begin February 5, 2018. The two strip pits will be drained and filled with onsite material. Next, the spoil will be graded to obtain positive drainage, pre-limed at 20 tons/acre, capped with 1-2 feet of suitable resoil material (from an adjacent borrow area) and revegetated, thus preventing the formation of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD). Open limestone channels will convey water off of the site and into the receiving tributaries. Long term operation and treatment costs are not anticipated with this project.
Daniels Reclamation Project – completed summer 2018
The Daniels AMD Reclamation Project is located in Milton Township, Jackson County, within the Little Raccoon Creek Watershed which has been adversely affected by historic abandoned coal mines. This historic mining has resulted in the formation of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) and sediment deposition to four tributaries draining into Little Raccoon Creek. Typical water quality in the pits and subsequent tributary drainage is pH between 3.1-3.5, acidity from 136-287 mg/l, iron from 2.0-18.4 mg/l, and aluminum from 16.0-31.3 mg/l. Remediation of this 10 acre site composed of coal mine spoil and strip pits will eliminate these direct inputs of AMD and sediment into Little Raccoon Creek. In addition to the environmental benefits this project encompasses a Priority 2 Dangerous Spoil Pile which will be removed from the site as a result of the project.
The project will drain and fill two strip pits and regrade 10 acres of land to allow positive drainage. Lime will be mixed into the spoil, and then the spoil will be covered with about two inches of resoil material. The entire project area will be revegetated, and the adjacent borrow area will be planted with tree seedlings to match its preconstruction land use. Three rock channels will be installed to connect side drainages to their main channels.
This project is complete. The two pits have been drained and the spoil graded in order to obtain positive drainage. The spoil was prelimed at 20 tons/acre, capped with resoil material, and seeded with a native seed mix developed for The Wilds. In the spring of 2019, trees will be planted along the tributary draining the site.
Low-Head Dam Removal Feasibility in the Raccoon Creek Watershed: Big Sandy Run
This project was scheduled for a fall 2018 start date but has been postponed due to rain. The Big Sandy Run Low-head Dam Removal project in Vinton County is located just upstream of Lake Hope, on Zaleski State Forest property. The project is funded by a Section 319 (h) Nonpoint Source Grant (Ohio EPA) and ODNR Division of Forestry is conducting the dam removal. This low-head dam (composed of 2 concrete structures), originally a component of the 1980 Lake Hope underground mine sealing project, acts as a barrier to fish passage and degrades aquatic habitat in Big Sandy Run. Preliminary biological sampling confirmed that many species of fish are not able to move upstream of the dam. Twelve species of fish were documented at the two sampling sites downstream of the dam, with only four species occurring at the two sites upstream of the dam. Removing the center 50% of the concrete structures will allow fish passage to upstream habitats and will help to return the stream morphology to a more natural state.
Project photos and updates are posted to the Raccoon Creek website. Follow the projects at http://www.raccooncreek.org/category/project-updates/
You can also view annotated 360° photos of our current projects at http://watersheddata.com/Education/Stream1.html