At the village of Amsbry between Ashville and Cresson, several large flows of acid and metal-bearing water discharge into Clearfield Creek from abandoned underground mines. Piles of coal refuse (gob) were also left by the mining operations. These discharges are significant contributors to the degradation of Clearfield Creek.
In June 2007, the Watershed Association arranged with Robindale Energy to remove the piles of refuse. The refuse was leaching contaminated water, but contained a lot of coal, so it could be burned in the nearby Fluidized Bed Combustors to produce energy. After removing the refuse, Robindale graded the sites, added topsoil and planted the disturbed area, as indicated in the accompanying photo.
One of 5 acid discharges at Amsbry emerges close to the site of refuse removal. This discharge (AM-5) drains from a very large abandoned underground mine to the southeast. It flows at an average of 180 gal/min with pH 3.2, iron 7 mg/L, Al 12 mg/L and acidity 140 mg/L as CaCO3. In 200x the Watershed Association received a Growing Greener grant of $43,000 for designing and permitting a treatment system for this discharge. In 2014 we applied for funds to construct this system. Two other sizable flows at Amsbry degrade Clearfield Creek for several miles downstream and will be future projects.