The Eastern Middle Anthracite Region Recovery (EMARR) project encompasses approximately a 124-square-mile area in east-central Pennsylvania that spans four counties: Carbon; Columbia; Luzerne; and Schuylkill. Central to the project is an area of over 33 square-miles which is the geologically distinct Eastern Middle Anthracite Region (EMAR), the smallest of four major anthracite coal fields in northeastern Pennsylvania. In the process of underground mining within this field, a 12-tunnel gravity drainage complex was created. This integrated mine tunnel complex consists of nearly 13 miles of hard rock tunnel intercepting coal basins in the region. In some cases, the tunnels connect geologically distinct coal basins into the same drainage network. The original purpose of these tunnels was to provide gravity drainage for water intercepted by underground mining operations eliminating the need for pumping water. This massive abandoned tunnel complex now acts as a stormwater collection system that has a significant influence on the entire EMARR project area. Surface drainage within the EMARR project area drains toward the mined areas with the capacity to pollute the majority of the regions rainfall. Abandoned surface mines at the coal crop areas further add to surface water collection capacity and serve to direct water to the mine pools.
The EMARR project includes what is surely one of the largest AMD remediation problems in the nation, the Jeddo Tunnel. The Jeddo Tunnel discharge averages 60 million gallons per day with peak flows over 180 million gallons per day. This drainage network can introduce 200 tons per year of aluminum into the Susquehanna River drainage basin. The EMARR study area includes over 30,000 people that reside in the region, not to mention the residents downstream in the Susquehanna River Watershed. EMARR was developed with the potential to serve as a nationally recognized strategy for regional AMD reclamation and economic development for the local community.