Bliss Bank Reclamation

Looking out over the mine spoils of Bliss Bank.

While in operation, the Blue Coal Corporation used Bliss Bank to store mine waste.  Abandoned for decades, the site has been an eyesore, with mountainous piles of culm and deep pits filled with stagnant water.  In its neglected state, the site invites illegal dumping and trespassing by ATVs. The Bliss project not only will discourage these activities, but also will improve the environment by mitigating acid mine drainage and nonpoint source pollution in the Nanticoke Creek watershed.  Long-term, it is hoped the site will host mixed-use development.  Concentrating development in established urban areas tends to deter sprawl and preserve undeveloped greenspace, simultaneously encouraging economic growth in the region. Significant work needs to be performed in order to reclaim the nearly 200-acre Bliss Bank. The project will move approximately 830,000 cubic yards of material. There are several pits on the site that will be filled as part of the project.  Extensive stormwater management work will also occur. Funding for the project has been provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Earth Conservancy. Reclamation will be accomplished in several phases.  Phase I (Parcels A and B), began in 2014, and was completed in 2016.  Engineering design for Phase II (Parcels C and D) is currently underway.

Bliss Bank:  Pre-Construction

Looking out over the massive culm banks of the 200-acre Bliss Bank.  Phase I of the reclamation project addressed approximately 47 acres.  Phase II, beginning in 2016, will reclaim another 54 acres.

Bliss Bank:  Pre-Construction

Image of one of the large piles of mine spoils comprising Bliss Bank.

Bliss Bank:  Pre-Construction

Another view of the Bliss Bank mine spoils.  Note the abandoned chair in the center of the image to comprehend the bank’s size.

Bliss Bank:  Construction Phase

A bulldozer works on moving material as part of the grading process.

Bliss Bank:  Construction Phase

Work continues on moving the spoil material, little by little leveling the bank.

Bliss Bank:  Construction Phase

Phase I of Bliss Bank nears completion.

Bliss Bank:  Construction Phase

Topsoil is spread across the site to cap the spoil material and create a base for vegetation.

Bliss Bank:  Construction Phase

Seeding of Bliss Bank, Phase I, in September 2015.

Bliss Bank:  Post-Construction

Grass sprouting along slope and detention basin in November 2015.

Bliss Bank:  Post-Construction

Reclaimed pad of Bliss Bank, Phase I, hosting a flock of turkeys in October 2016.