CHARLESTON, W.Va. (April 30, 2019) – The West Virginia Department of Environmental
Protection (WVDEP) will host a ribbon cutting celebration for its Muddy Creek
Watershed Restoration Project on Friday, May 3 at 1 p.m. at the T&T
Treatment Facility in Albright (directions below). The event is open to the
public. The project, which is proving to be a huge success in watershed restoration,
is a public-private partnership between the WVDEP and Southwestern Energy
through its ECH2O Water Conservation Initiative.
The lower 3.4 miles of Muddy Creek, a
tributary into the Cheat River, have been devastated by acid mine drainage
(AMD) due to mine blowouts from the T&T Mine Complex in 1994 and 1995,
along with impacts from a multitude of other mining sites throughout the Muddy
Creek watershed (primarily along Martin Creek and its tributaries).
Through the collaborative efforts of both
state and federal agencies, an innovative approach to treating AMD was
initiated for more efficient and cost-effective operations while still meeting
permitting requirements. The WVDEP worked closely with federal agencies to
develop the first watershed-based NPDES permit ever issued in the country.
Instead of having NPDES permits at multiple AMD treatment sites throughout
Martin Creek, the WVDEP will now have one permit located at the mouth of Martin
Creek. This permitting structure allows the WVDEP to treat AMD in-stream,
thereby addressing both AMD sources from both bond forfeited sites, as well as
sources from historical coal mines, which would otherwise go unregulated and
The T&T Treatment Facility, which went
into full operation in March 2018, is a major contributor to the success of
this restoration project. Located on Muddy Creek, approximately ¾ of a mile
downstream of its confluence with Martin Creek, this treatment facility treats
AMD from the T&T Mine Complex and the Preston Energy Mine Complex. This
state-of-the-art treatment system, developed in-house by WVDEP engineers, is
capable of treating 6 million gallons of AMD per day and allows for remote
operation and control.
Southwestern Energy contributed to the
construction of a pipeline that transports overwhelming AMD loads from within
Martin Creek directly to the T&T Treatment Facility. Without this pipeline,
the AMD loads could possibly jeopardize the WVDEP’s in-stream permit
compliance, as well as the success of this watershed-based approach.
The lower section of Muddy Creek was
significantly impaired for decades from the effects of AMD, and devoid of
aquatic life. Since initiation of this combined treatment approach, the WVDEP
has been able to restore the creek to a natural state and maintain an optimum
pH balance. Most notably, the WVDEP and its partners have been able to
reestablish biological connectivity throughout the entire 15.6 miles of Muddy
Creek, and freshwater trout and early signs of aquatic life are beginning to
DIRECTIONS TO THE SITE:
From Kingwood, take Route 26 north for 6.7
miles. The plant is on the left side of the road.
From I-68 (Bruceton Mills exit), take Route 26
south for 8.3 miles. The plant is on the right side of the road.
Google Maps LINK
For more WVDEP news and
information, go to www.dep.wv.gov. Also, connect with the agency on
all social media platforms. Follow @DEPWV on Twitter, Like us on Facebook
at https://www.facebook.com/depwv/, and find us on YouTube by
# # #