COLUMBUS, OH - An $800,000 joint federal/state mine reclamation project to protect the Piedmont Lake watershed was kicked off today by officials of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
The Lick Run Reclamation Project in Belmont County is an acid mine drainage abatement effort designed to remove iron and other pollutants from the water that flows from Lick Run into Piedmont Lake.
This project provides further protection for Piedmont Lakes watershed, said ODNR Director Sam Speck. By using a wetland to filter acid mine drainage, we are at once replenishing Ohios rarest form of habitat-wetlands -and are making a permanent ecological improvement to the area.
The Lick Run drainage basin encompasses more than 1,300 acres and drains into a 32-acre embayment at Piedmont Lake. The project area is within the Egypt Valley State Wildlife Area, about 10 miles north of Barnesville.
Surface mining activities that were common before current mining laws existed had allowed the deposit of pollutants in water that drains from the now-abandoned mines.
ODNRs divisions of Wildlife and Mineral Resources Management, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement have partnered to complete the project.
The polluted water is impounded and diverted to run through a wetland where pollutants will be captured before they can reach the embayment. The wetland acts as a filter and periodically the metals will be removed from the wetland.
Speck noted that Egypt Valley State Wildlife Area is prime wildlife habitat that is heavily used by hunters, anglers and other wildlife enthusiasts.
The state record muskellunge, weighing 55.13 pounds and measuring 50 1/4 inches was caught at Piedmont Lake on April 12, 1972.