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Nanticoke, June 21, 2016 – State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon), Representative Eddie Day Pashinski (D-121st) and Representative Mike Carroll (D-118th) today announced a $50,000 Growing Greener grant for the Earth Conservancy to reclaim the Laurel Run Corporation surface mine in Plains and Wilkes-Barre Townships.

An important part of the project includes the elimination of unsafe highwalls that were left from previous mining activity. Approximately six acres of mine-scarred land that had been strip mined in the past will also be reclaimed with new vegetation and mitigate a potential source of acid mine drainage. Work is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

“This grant not only adds another parcel to the long list of sites that the Earth Conservancy has successfully reclaimed, it also improves public safety,” said Senator Yudichak.

“Highwalls are particularly dangerous. This project addresses a lengthy highwall, which at some points rise to about 30 feet, as the severe slope of the material makes them prone to collapse,” said Michael Dziak, President/CEO of the Earth Conservancy. “This is why they are a priority in the abandoned mine land reclamation program, and why we are pleased to partner with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on this project.”

“The cooperative effort among the state lawmakers was vital in the effort to secure this grant. My thanks to Senator Yudichak for his leadership and Representative Carroll for his assistance,” said Representative Pashinski.

“The safety and environmental benefits of the cleanup are clear and very important to the residents of the area near the abandoned mine,” said Representative Carroll.

The Growing Greener Grant Program is an investment of state funds that address Pennsylvania’s environmental concerns. The program encourages partnerships between counties, municipalities, county conservation districts, watershed organizations and other organizations to restore and protect the environment.