Two abandoned mine land reclamation projects in Cambria County are set to receive funding through Pennsylvania’s AML Program, state Department of Environmental Protection officials announced Wednesday.

The first of those projects is the removal and reclamation of an 11-acre coal refuse pile along the Ghost Town Trail near Vintondale, which is expected to improve water quality in a 22-mile section of the South Branch of Blacklick Creek.

The project also includes the construction of a gravel parking lot and a new trailhead.

The other project is the reclamation of the Ingleside Northeast site in Richland Township. DEP officials said the land will be compacted and made suitable for building after reclamation is completed. The access road to the site will remain in place.

The 2019 AML Pilot Program, authorized by Congress under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019, provides an extra $25 million in federal funds to Pennsylvania’s AML Program to be used “to accelerate the remediation of AML sites with economic and community development end uses.”

Eleven projects in Pennsylvania, including the two Cambria County projects, were recently approved to receive shares of that money, according to DEP.

Mark Pesto is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at @MarkPesto.

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