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Friends of the Cheat River selected for $835,000 EPA grant

Release Date: 11/10/2005
Contact Information: Roy Seneca 9215) 814-5567

Contact Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567
PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has selected the Friends of the Cheat River to receive an $835,000 grant to support restoration of Muddy Creek, the largest contributor of acid mine drainage to the lower Cheat River Basin in West Virginia.

“This funding recognizes the public and private partnerships and will accelerate the pace of restoration efforts. The continued dedication of the Friends of the Cheat River strives to regain the environmental integrity of the lower Cheat River basin, and restore the recreational potential of the river,” said Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.

The grant, which is expected to be awarded in early 2006, will support treatment technologies to remove and contain the sources of mine drainage contamination. Funds will also support public education and citizen involvement projects in planning further restoration activity within the entire Cheat River basin.

The Cheat River is one of the larger tributaries to the Monongahela River, which, with the Allegheny River, forms the Ohio River in Pittsburgh. The 1,426 square-mile Cheat River watershed is located almost entirely in Monongalia and Preston counties West Virginia, except for small segments in Pennsylvania and Maryland. The watershed is primarily forested. Mined land, the source of acid mine drainage and water quality problems, makes up about one percent of the watershed.

During President Bush’s 2002 State of the Union address, he asked the nation’s governors and tribal leaders to nominate proposals to support community-based approaches to clean up the nation’s watersheds. This year, Congress appropriated $9 million for this Targeted Watershed Grant Program, which was conceived to encourage community-based approaches to restore, preserve and protect the nation’s watersheds and to promote strong public/private partnerships that lead to measurable environ­men­tal results.

The Cheat River group was one of 12 grant recipients announced today from a list of 100 nominations nationwide. A complete list of awardees is available on line at . The nominations were reviewed by regional and national experts. Each of the selectees exhibited strong partnerships, showed innovation, and demonstrated compatibility with existing governmental programs.