The Lackawanna Valley Conservancy and the Lackawanna River Conservation Association have partnered and supported Carol Gargan on this multifaceted project for over four years. The garden is open to the public. Its plants provide a living history, a way to learn and experience history, local, American and ethnic, in a living multi-sensory way. It is not simply cosmetic or “pretty” it is a living book of history!
Located in North Scranton in back of the historic Silkman House, the Kosciuska Healing Garden is an effort to create a garden along the Lackawanna River as homage and sister garden to Kosciuszko's first American Garden constructed in 1778 along the Hudson at West Point. Kosciuszko was a Lithuanian Pole who gardened wherever he dwelled. Like some residents who had lived along the Lackawanna, roses, willows, flowering plants and trees marked where they had been. Before The Army Corps of Engineers built a new levee along the Lackawanna, cuttings from lilacs, forsythia and the seven sisters and dawn roses were taken and planted in the Kosciuska Healing Garden.
The LRCA is pleased to announce the initiation of an engineering study of the Old Forge Bore Hole (OFBH), a significant point source of water pollution in the Lower Lackawanna River. The OFBH may discharge approximately 100 million gallons of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) everyday into the Lackawanna River near the Union Street Bridge in the Connell’s Patch section of Old Forge. (Underground Mine Pool)
The mine water is estimated to contain over 3000 pounds per day of Iron Oxide. This material reacts with oxygen dissolved in river water and forms a sludge that colors the cobble bed of the river and the shoreline with an orange and yellow staining. In addition there are several hundred pounds per day of manganese and aluminum oxides and sulfide compounds as well as trace amounts of zinc and copper. These metallic compounds degrade the water and aquatic habitat of the Lower Lackawanna. It has been called the most visible point source of water pollution in the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed.
We have two goals with this study. First: We are intending to generate engineering data about the volume of the discharge. This data will support attainment of qualified Hydrologic Unit (QHU) status for the OFBH enabling the Pennsylvania DEP Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation (BAMR) to prioritize the use of federal funds to assist with our community based clean-up efforts.
Second: We will convene a stakeholders group of elected officials and property owners to gage interest in the development of a comprehensive plan to get the borehole cleaned up and explore the potential for a water resource based “Green” Business Park that could be developed in the area south of the borehole in Old Forge and Duryea.
Cleaning up the mine drainage pollution will need to involve the entire community. There may not be enough federal funding available for the long-term treatment needed to get the iron and other metals out of the river. We need to create private investment opportunities to maximize the range of clean up solutions.
Presently, there is no community supported plan for this part of Old Forge and Duryea that could facilitate public investment in adequate road and utility infrastructure. Therefore the LRCA seeks to involve property owners, business interests, and local governments in finding a solution that will create employment and investment returns to this part of our valley.
We welcome the involvement of the public with this work to help create economic opportunities to further clean up the lower Lackawanna River corridor area in Old Forge and Duryea Boroughs and the area surrounding the confluence of the Lackawanna and Susquehanna Rivers.
This project is supported with funding from the Willary Foundation, the Lackawanna County LECOR Program and the Susquehanna River Basin Commission. The LRCA and The Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation (EPCAMR) are also providing funding and in kind services to conduct this work.
The LRCA is collaborating with our affiliate the Lackawanna Valley Conservancy (LVC) and JMG Construction Inc. a residential developer, to conduct a Brownfields Clean Up project on a thirty acre abandoned mine land site along the Lackawanna River in Old Forge. Our Project is known as “Misty Ridge”.
This project is funded with Growing Greener Grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and the Brownfields Cleanup Program of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. There is also private investment funding being provided by the developer and funding through a tax incremental finance district (TIF) authorized by Old Forge Borough and School District and the Lackawanna County Commissioners through the Lackawanna County Redevelopment Authority.
The goals of our Misty Ridge project are to clean up abandoned mine land problems on the site by removing coal waste piles, silt banks and culm dumps. The overall site will be regraded. New topsoils will be installed. A new storm water drainage system will be created and the graded areas will be seeded and planted with native trees and shrubs. The developer has donated an eight-acre portion of the site to the Conservancy to be used for walking trails and river access. The upland portions of the property will be developed into Misty Ridge an age preferred, 55-plus community of town homes and apartments.
Through a public education partnership, the Lackawanna River Basin Sewer Authority(LRBSA) and the Lackawanna River Conservation Association are providing information and technical support for homeowners to better manage storm water on their properties. Scranton gets an average of 37 inches of rain a year. Some of that rain runs off the roof into the gutters and downspout, and in many older homes it runs into cast iron standpipes around the foundation of the house. These pipes are connected to the home’s sewer pipe. So, the rainwater that flows into those pipes quickly becomes polluted and adds to the load of storm water that flows into our sewer system. That causes our municipal sewers to overflow into the Lackawanna River, Roaring Brook, Leggett’s Creek, or Stafford Meadow Brook.
A series of booklets and information pamphlets are available on storm water management for homeowners in the Lackawanna River Watershed. Information covers downspout disconnection, rain barrels, rain gardens and storm water trenches. Also a Lackawanna River Citizens Water Quality handbook is available that provides information on ways to reduce and eliminate water pollution sources around the home. These documents are available in a printed version on request.
Informational meetings will be held to open a dialogue with the public about our goals for clean water and how each of us can help reduce and eliminate water pollution sources.
You can contact the LRBSA or the LRCA to request information and technical assistance to disconnect downspouts or get advice on the installation of other stormwater management techniques that are appropriate for your property.
LACKAWANNA RIVER CLEAN STAKEHOLDERS
Thank you one and all who participated!!
The Clean Water Act was adopted by Congress in 1972 to promote the clean up and protection of the waters of the United States. A lot of progress has been made in the past 40 years across the country to advance the protection of our waters. Currently, with recent amendments to the Clean Water Act and in response to law suits by advocates for Clean Water, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources, (PA DEP) are promoting new requirements for local communities like Scranton to make significant investments to further improve the quality of our waters.
As part of the work needed to help clean up the Lackawanna River, the LRCA is collaborating with the Scranton Sewer Authority (SSA) to reach out and involve our fellow citizens with the long-term work that will help our community meet its responsibilities under the Clean Water Act.
Like many older municipalities, the sewer system in Scranton and Dunmore includes collection lines that carry sanitary flows and also storm water flows. During heavy rain and snow storms, the storm waters flowing into the system cause it to overflow into the Lackawanna River and its tributary streams. There are seventy-eight locations known as Combined Sewer Overflow Regulators or CSO’s where this occurs.
The SSA is required to control these overflows under administrative orders of the EPA and the PA DEP. It is anticipated that several hundred million dollars in new funding will be needed to control the CSO pollution problem.
The SSA and its engineering consultant, Gannett Fleming are developing what is called a Long Term Control Plan (LTCP). The goals of the plan are twofold. First to control, reduce, and then eliminate many of the CSO’s on the Scranton –Dunmore sewer system. Secondly, this work needs accomplished in a way that is affordable to the citizens of our community.
The LRCA has formed a Stakeholders Committee that is working along with staff from the SSA and Gannett Fleming to review and rank alternatives for a series of programs and designs that will form the Long Term Control Plan when approved by the EPA. The work of the committee forms part of the record of decision under the terms of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
We welcome and encourage the comments of our fellow citizens with this
process. Please view the presentations given on June 1, 2010 - July 13, 2010 - September 1, 2010 and share your comments with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.