Mullery: Bliss Bank cleanup has many benefits

NANTICOKE, Sept. 9 – State Rep. Gerald Mullery congratulated the Earth Conservancy for receiving a $400,000 federal grant to continue reclamation work at a site in Nanticoke and Hanover and Newport townships that was used to store mine waste.

Mullery joined a news conference Wednesday at the site where the Earth Conservancy announced it received the grant from EPA’s Brownfields Cleanup Program.

“This is a great day for the Nanticoke area,” said Mullery, D-Newport Township. “The future looks even better because this grant will help clean up an environmental eyesore, and, I hope, eventually create more economic opportunities in our area.”

The site, known as the Bliss Bank, contains huge piles of culm and has empty pits. Mullery said the project will reduce acid mine drainage from the site into the Nanticoke Creek Watershed and the Susquehanna River. In addition, he said the cleanup will reduce both the illegal dumping and trespassing at the site.

“The environmental benefits of the cleanup are important, but it will also have an economic benefit,” Mullery added. “Cleaning up this land potentially allows this property to be used for mixed use development that could someday support economic initiatives.”

Mullery also noted that a recent EPA study found that residential property values increased by 5.1 percent to 12.8 percent once a nearby brownfield was cleaned.