Cleaning Polluted Streams in Clinton County

SPROUL STATE FOREST -- A stream in Clinton County that used be a popular place to fish has been overrun with pollution for decades. On Tuesday, the state Department of Environmental Protection announced a $7 million project that should reverse that.

Mike Klimkos has been working for decades to clean up this water and for good reason.

"Home water," he said. "This is the stream I learned to fish in."

But if Klimkos were to cast his hook into Cook's Run today, he wouldn't catch a thing. There haven't been fish in this creek since the mid-1970s. That's because it's polluted with mine waste.

"The stream looks really clear and that's because of acid mine drainage."

A group including members of the Department of Environmental Protection met in Sproul State Forest near the creek to announce plans for a $7 million remediation project.

DEP workers tell Newswatch a coal mine on this mountain that was abandoned back in the 1970s has left a trail of damage in its path.

"Now what it's doing right now, it's popping out. It's polluting, bingo, right into Camp Run and Rock Run," said DEP official Steven Fasaunick.

The state plans to dig up the property and neutralize the acidic rock.

The project which could take two years to finish should get rid of the pollution so that trout may be reintroduced to Cooks Run.

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