Years before a plane crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, efforts were underway to clean up Lambert’s Run. Part of that stream runs through the Flight 93 Memorial site, which is a reclaimed strip mine.
“The area had been both strip mined and deep mined and when the plane crashed in September 2001, the current mining owners and state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) were working to clean up some of the mine drainage that was there,” said Jeff Reinbold, superintendent of National Parks Service Western PA.
One of the mine drainage seeps was right where remains of the passengers and crew were, which kicked off an effort to find a way to both preserve their resting place and make sure the mine drainage is treated. To that end, the DEP has awarded a $312,000 grant which will go toward expanding the mine drainage treatment ponds.
“To further treat the water coming off of the site and make sure that not only the streams, but local wells in the area are going to benefit from a much improved environment,” said Reinbold.
The grant funds come from civil penalties levied against mining companies. Eventually park officials hope the water can be useable for irrigation, restrooms, and other facilities, though drinking water will always come from a separate source.