ASKAM WAYSIDE EXHIBIT
2017 • Hanover Township, Luzerne County, PA
Although the Askam Borehole relieves water pressure in underground mines, it also releases acid mine drainage (AMD) into the Nanticoke Creek, polluting its waters and the watershed. In 2014, Earth Conservancy (EC) constructed an oxidizer-based AMD treatment system to mitigate AMD effects. Since the oxidizer’s installation, however, EC has repeatedly fielded questions about the large orange pond off of SR 29, especially in regard to its environmental impacts. In truth, the orange color indicates the pond is working, preventing AMD from flowing into the Nanticoke Creek. Communicating this to the public, however, proved difficult. Moreover, the Askam system uses an innovative AMD-treatment technology. Construction involved numerous federal and state partners, and cost approximately $1 million. It is a notable achievement in EC’s history. We wanted people to understand the history of the project, the mechanics of the system, and the importance of watershed protection.
To solve this problem, EC decided to invite the public in, establishing a wayside exhibit and walking trail at the Askam site. Working with students from the Wilkes-Barre Area School District, EC oversaw the signs’ design. Fossil Industries then fabricated the four panels on high-pressure laminate. Now installed, the signs are helping to educate the community about local efforts to improve damage from pre-regulatory mining in the region. Our thanks to our partners at WBASD and EPCAMR and the generous support from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Luzerne County, and ARIPPA.
The Askam Borehole AMD Treatment System Wayside Exhibit is located off of Dundee Road in Hanover Township and is open to pedestrian traffic during daylight hours. For more information, please call EC’s offices at 570.823.3445.
$2,996 – PA DEP, Environmental Education grant
$4,646 – Luzerne County
$1,200 – ARIPPA
$3,950 – Earth Conservancy
Pennsylvania Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence, 2018