A mining company is proposing a mine on a 588 acre tract of forest land near the Youghiogheny River in Pennsylvania. The proposed mine would be within hearing range and likely within sight of Ohiopyle State Park, the Craelicks Rocks climbing area, Morgan Run, and the Allegheny Highlands Bicycle Trail which follows the Lower Yough. The mining operations would divert water from Morgan Run and Johnson Run and would deliver mining wastes into 7 sediment ponds and 5 treatment facilities; these will discharge into 5 unnamed tributaries of the Youghiogheny River. Given water's tendency to flow downhill this will result in a new source of mine discharge into the Youghoigheny River.
Anyone familiar with Pennsylvania, Ohio, and western Maryland knows how incredibly important the Youghiogheny River and Ohiopyle State Park are to the vitality of the region. Tens of thousands of paddlers, hikers, bikers, swimmers, and climbers all flock to the area to experience the relatively intact ecosystem and great recreational opportunities. Opposition to the mine has begun in earnest, as the PA Department of Environmental Protection considers a permit application that if granted would allow the mining to occur.
You can gain more insight by reading the following article: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08104/872879-85.stm
Paddlers with photos and descriptions of Morgan Run are encouraged to add them to the AW site or send them to email@example.com.
Paddlers that are familiar with the Ohiopyle State Park area are encouraged to submit written comments via mail or email to the State of PA. You can read talking points developed by the Mountain Watershed Association. Comment letters should be submitted by May 15th, 2008. Letters should reference the "Curry Mine - NPDES permit PA No. 0251305" and be addressed to:
Mike Gardener, Professional Geologist
Greensburg District Mining Office
Armbrust Professional Center
8205 Route 819
Greensburg, PA 15601