The EPCAMR staff is available to conduct educational watershed field tours to several Abandoned Mine Reclamation (AMR) sites throughout the Coal Region of Pennsylvania.
Areas that we explore – with landowner permission and safety in mind – are Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) that can contain water-filled stripping pits, abandoned underground mine fires, culm dumps, abandoned mine openings, boreholes, rock outcrops, and Abandoned Mine Drainage (AMD) impacted streams and discharges. Other areas that EPCAMR explores are stream restoration projects, mine drainage remediation projects, passive AMD treatment systems, mine land reclamation projects, wildlife habitat enhancement projects, and sites where the reforestation of abandoned mine lands occurs.
These projects and systems have been completed through partnerships between EPCAMR, conservation districts, PA DEP Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation, Office of Surface Mining, Natural Resources and Conservation Service, Environmental Protection Agency, existing coal companies, and other nonprofits throughout the region. On occasion, EPCAMR will team up with these partners to conduct large-scale watershed field tours.
EPCAMR guides these field tours for elementary and high school students, teachers, college students, professors, community organizations, boy/girl scout troops, and other environmental organizations. If photographers, naturalists, or the news media are interested in a field tour, EPCAMR will gladly accommodate them on an individual basis.
Tour times are dependent on travel time, bus restrictions, and number of sites. EPCAMR asks that you inform us ahead of time of what specific sites you would like to visit, the amount of time you would like to spend at each site and on travel, so we can customize a trip for you. EPCAMR does not arrange for travel to and from the locations. If large groups request to have a field tour conducted, the group must make prior arrangements with a van or bus company to get to and from the sites. Vehicles with high ground clearance and four-wheel drive are recommended. Most of these sites are on dirt haul roads that are not maintained year-round.
EPCAMR does not take responsibility for damages caused to vehicles while visiting these sites. This includes incidents such as flat tires, cracked windshields, body damage, and the like. We also do not take responsibility for personal effects or vehicle interiors that can be stained by the Iron and Aluminum oxides, commonly found in mine water. EPCAMR recommends that you dress appropriately; wear clothes you would not mind getting dirty; wear old shoes or boots. And bring your cameras if you are interested in taking photos or video at the sites!