Vintondale Coal Refuse Pile Removal

The Vintondale refuse pile is located adjacent to the South Branch Blacklick Creek just east of Vintondale Borough and along the Ghost Town Trail.  Toxic leachate from the refuse pile seeps directly into the stream.  In addition to polluting the stream with leachate, the pile contaminates the stream by eroding directly into it, contributing to siltation and smothering substrate habitat.   The Vintondale pile is not only a significant polluter of the South Branch, but it is also an eyesore for users of the nearby trail.  The pile contains approximately 310,000 tons of refuse and red dog (burned refuse) and covers about 11 acres.  The quality of the pile precluded removal for profit by the waste coal industry so, The Pennsylvania DEP Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation (BAMR) entered into a contract with Robindale Energy Services to partially fund removal of the pile.  Excavation of the pile began in spring of 2022 and will be completed by year’s end.  Once the pile is removed, the location will be developed into a recreational area that will complement the adjacent trail.  More details concerning the project may be found at: