Planning of infrastructure bill for mine reclamation has begun in Scranton

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Planning for how the bipartisan infrastructure bill will be spent has started as billions of dollars have been allocated for mine reclamation.

Parts of the Lackawanna River are seen as a place to go fishing and other areas show the remnants of an industry that ended decades ago, still affecting the water and soil today.

“Throughout Pennsylvania 5500 miles of streams that are polluted by mine water just like this here at old forge. We have over 183-thousand acres that we are aware of that have been assessed that are in need of reclamation,” said Bobby Hughes, Executive Director, Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation.

Congressman Matt Cartwright announced Wednesday 11 billion dollars of the one-trillion dollar infrastructure bill will be for mine reclamation. Of that, Northeastern Pennsylvania will see more than 1 billion dollars.

“What we’re talking about here are jobs. Good paying jobs not only to do the cleanup but also to do the economic development,” said Rep. Matt Cartwright, (d) 8th District.

There are 283 sites in the state that are being looked at. The reclamation consists of filling in mines so waterways can flow on top, instead of below and creating land where businesses, apartments, offices and more can be built. adding to the economic growth.

“Making improvements like this, not only are going to help to bring jobs into our area and strengthen our economy but also, it ties into sectors which I think is really important so we’re bringing the academic, business and the community side into one piece,” said Lindsay Griffin, Executive Vice-President & COO, Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Now it will take years for reclamation projects to develop. However, once projects are started, officials tell Eyewitness News it won’t take long.

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