The LRCA Lackawanna River Projects

The LRCA conducts a number of special projects each year in the context of our mission to involve the community with conservation and restoration of the Lackawanna River and its watershed resources. 

Currently we have projects underway with the Scranton Sewer Authority (SSA) regarding the clean up of Combined Sewer Overflows or CSO’s. This is a major water pollution problem across the country. The SSA is developing a Long Term Control Plan for its CSO’S. The plan will involve physical improvements to the sewer collection system and an active involvement of property owners, and residents in lifestyle choices and practices around homes and businesses. 

LRCA and SSA are collaborating to provide the community with information on a “Downspout Disconnection” program, and “How To” booklets on good housekeeping practices such as rain gardens and rain barrels. 

Another pollution problem in the Lackawanna River and in many other rivers in Pennsylvania is Acid Mine Drainage or AMD. Ground water flows through flooded abandoned mine tunnels under the Lackawanna Valley and discharges through tunnels and bore holes into the river in several locations. The largest of these AMD outfalls is the Old Forge Bore Hole. The LRCA has a study underway to calculate the flow of AMD from the borehole in an effort to develop a plan to treat the mine water to remove the metal pollution from the flow. 

LRCA is also working with our affiliate the Lackawanna Valley Conservancy (LVC) on work to acquire and protect natural resource lands along the river and across the watershed. A current focus of the LVC’s work is the North Pocono area and the Roaring Brook Watershed, a Pennsylvania Conservation Landscape Initiative (CLI) area. 

LRCA and LVC have also worked through a public-private partnership with a private developer, JMG Construction to reclaim a 30-acre Abandoned Mine Land site along the Lackawanna River in Old Forge. We collaborated to bring Pennsylvania Growing Greener funding to match US EPA Brownfields Clean Up funding together to remove tons of coal mine waste piles and silt deposits from the riverbanks and upland areas of the Misty Ridge site. 

LRCA and LVC have also collaborated on the Lackawanna Watershed Atlas and an updated Lackawanna River and Trail Access guidebook. 

LRCA developed several graphic posters to illustrate some of the unique natural resources and human related impacts. These posters illustrate the main stem of the River and Lackawanna River Heritage Trail; Pollution sources in the Lackawanna Watershed and the Mine water pool that lies under the Lackawanna Valley. Additional posters show the locations of AMD outfalls and Abandoned Mine Land (AML) sites.

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