State Grant will Fund New Water Quality Monitoring on Upper Swatara Creek

HARRISBURG – The Schuylkill Conservation District will receive a $67,024 grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection to again monitor water quality on the Upper Swatara Creek, state Reps. Neal P. Goodman and Mike Tobash and state Sen. David G. Argall announced.

“Unfortunately, routine monitoring in the watershed stopped in 2007,” Goodman said. “I’m pleased that the state is again providing funding that will give us a fresh look at the water quality in the creek and locations of acid mine drainage in the watershed.”

“Past monitoring of Upper Swatara Creek led to acid mine drainage and abandoned mine land reclamation projects,” said Tobash, R-Schuylkill/Dauphin. “The stream now supports native trout, but the new round of monitoring will help us learn if more action is needed.”

“The Upper Swatara Creek Watershed has a long history of anthracite mining in the late 1800s through the mid-1900s,” said Argall, R-Schuylkill/Berks. “This funding, which comes from fees placed on the coal industry, will go a long way to improve the quality of our waterways as well as recreational opportunities in Schuylkill County and beyond.”

The monitoring will take place in Tremont, Frailey, Reilly and Porter townships over two years, said Wayne G. Lehman, county natural resources specialist with the Schuylkill Conservation District.

“It will let us know about improvements we have made to the creek, and what we still need to do,” Lehman said.
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