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Preserved Lands

JB2 Abandoned Mine Discharge

The JB2 Abandoned Mine Discharge Treatment System was Independence Conservancy's first AMD project. It treats an abandoned mine drainage seep, Joffree Branch 2, located on Cherry Valley Road near Burgettstown in Washington County which used to dump over 60 tons of iron and 8 tons of aluminum each year into the headwaters of Raccoon Creek. The JB2 seep was targeted for cleanup by the Raccoon Creek Watershed AMD Survey and Restoration Plan completed in 2000.

Many organizations and agencies teamed up with Independence Conservancy and the Raccoon Creek Watershed Association to treat the JB2 Discharge.

Independence Conservancy accepted the donation of property surrounding the JB2 discharge to build a Vertical Flow Wetland, a passive system which removes the iron compounds and acidity.

The Washington County Conservation District secured construction grants from the US Department of the Interior's Office of Surface Mining, the PA Department of Environmental Protection's Southwest Regional Office and the DEP Growing Greener Grants Program. Construction began in the fall of 2003 and was completed in the fall of 2004 at a total cost of $422,535.

Over time, the high concentration of iron in the discharge water repeatedly clogged the system.  In 2009, the Vertical Flow Wetland was converted to a FeAlMn Bed, a different type of passive treatment system which is more effective at treating the JB2 discharge. FeAlMn stands for Iron (Fe), Aluminum (Al) and Manganese (Mn), common pollutants in Acid Mine Drainage.

Independence Conservancy owns, operates and maintains the JB2 AMD Treatment System as a major component in eliminating Acid Mine Drainage pollution from Raccoon Creek, thereby restoring water quality, wildlife habitat and recreational values for the entire watershed.