Altoona Mirror from Altoona, Pennsylvania on June 30, 1997 · Page 35
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Altoona Mirror from Altoona, Pennsylvania · Page 35

Altoona, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Monday, June 30, 1997
Page 35
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Page 8 Pennsylvania Afield Appeal wins safeguard for Penns Creek fishery AARONSBUEG— A far-reaching settlement signed recently by Trout Unlimited, TlTs Pennsylvania Council, the Penns Valley Conservation Association and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection establishes unprecedented safeguards for Penns Creek from Con-Skme's limestone mining operations. TU, Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited and PVCA, fearing the mine would damage the worlddass Penns Creek trout fishery appealed the permit issued for the' Centre County mine last spring. The settlement substantially tightens restrictions on how dose to the wafer table Con-Stone may mine and requires the DEP to monitor water quality cont I)' for the next four years to ensure that silt and t pollution from mining operations do not < stream. This settlement goes a long way toward proii the aquifer, while providing the bind of ongoings taring that is critical to protecting the river's the long term," said Jack Williams, the co-chairrnan of the environmental committee of TlTs Pennsylvania Council. "Short of stopping (he mine altogether, this is the very best agreement we could have hoped for" The "Stipulation of Settlement" included the following provisions: 1. It substantially tightens the permit conditions to expressly prohibit mining below the water table at any time, and to prohibit operation of mining equipment in areas where there is standing groundwater. The original permit simply ruled out mining below 1,080 feet above sea level, but the water table in much of the site rises above that elevation during wet periods. 2. The DEP will monitor turbidity and summertime water temperatures on a continuous basis for the next four years (through March 25,2001), and will share the data collected with the conservation groups and Con- Stone 3. An ^dependent rj*88S|teive of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat CeMSjBjffijfajaaxjnipany mining inspectors aiLaMM|BBMMwl30OPM£U for addi- awthe£3fil| "We are very pleased that our appeal has led to such a forward-looking plan for protecting the Perm's Creek watershed," said Charles Gauvin, president and CEO of Trout Unlimited. "We hope that this special agreement strengthens the DEPs approach to preventing degradation of Pennsylvania's waters, which today requires ordinary citizens to prove actual harm to water quality and fisheries. "In the long run, we hope that Con-Stone will be able to prevent any damage to the irreplaceable altogether, thfels ifci verV 1*** * , agreement we could have •> ;* t ;| f hoped for." : " : Jack Williams, , Trout Unlimited'* r - Pennsylvania Council • resources of the Penn's Creek Watershed," added Gauvin. "However, the monitoring that this settlement puts in place will ensure that if sediment or warm water from the mine does threaten Penns Creek, we will know about it in time to minimize the impact to the fishery." The settlement takes effect 31 days after its publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. In 1996, Trout Unlimited pressure helped gain, ^"Exceptional Value" status (the state's most protec- water-quality classification) for Elk and Pine ;, which provide key spawning habitat for Creek's legendary brown trout and support itial fisheries of their own. PVCA and TU members are implementing a biological monitoring program to monitor the health of the stream's fish and insect populations. Although the DEP attached a list of 19 conditions to its March 1996 permit approval, TUand PVCA remained concerned that mining could disturb the fragile limestone aquifer that feeds Elk and Pine creeks, discharge silt and blasting chemicals into the water, and raise the temperature of the streams. The conservation groups then filed a formal appeal of the decision on April 16,1996. Flambeau. TACKLE STORAGE SYSTEMS "The tackle storage name I trust." No mailer what kind of fishing gear you own. Flambeau has ;i place lo put il. From traditional tray style tackle boxes to ^^^^^Hifc innovative soft j^^HfllB sided bags with our patented ^^^R^;|pl!^» infinite diviil -'-- ! ~' from sturdy £ Bajr.uka™ nxl tubes to bail buckets.. .no oilier of tackle If ifl sloruge has the fl^^Bw versalilily value ^K. M H of Flambeau. Visit Your Local Flambeau Dealer C.D.S. Spurts Suppl\ 127 North Main St. SH|)|»tn Umk. f'\ 4l2-7')4-2l2l Sin Hcaur

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