Earlier this month, representatives from both the Schuylkill and Somerset Conservation District Offices met with Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Glenn Rider to discuss Acid Mine Drainage (AMD). Rider is with the Department’s Bureau of Conservation and Restoration (BCR).
Attendees from the Schuylkill Conservation District included Elizabeth Hinkel, District Manager, and Wayne Lehman, County Natural Resource Specialist. The Somerset Conservation District’s attendees were Len Lichvar, District Manager and Dave Mankamyer, the Urban Director on the District’s Board of Directors.
The gathering was an opportunity for District staffs to speak with the state concerning priorities in the region and how the work they do impacts the overall communities. District staff offered recommendations regarding AMD to the department. One of their proposed recommendations regarded funding measures and the coverage of operational work and maintenance of the state’s current AMD systems. The group also discussed the roles watershed groups play in supporting these systems.
“There seems to be a wide range of abilities among watershed groups,” said Hinkel. “Some are capable of handling quite a bit of the maintenance on their own, while others don’t have the manpower to handle the larger systems. In those instances, those groups may still be involved in the water monitoring of the system but the responsibility of upkeep falls to the conservation district. So it is extremely important for us to have this open line of communication with the state so that we can discuss the needs we have as districts in caring for these systems.”
Click here for a full listing of the recommendations offered.
For more information about the Schuylkill County Conservation District, visit http://www.schuylkillcd.org. For more information about the work of Somerset County’s Conservation District call (814) 445-4652 ext. 5.