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 Post subject: Butler mine tunnel
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:45 pm 
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Weve all heard about the knox disaster, which occured near Pittston Pa. ( Porth Griggiths to be exact) Well a lesser known near disaster happened twenty years after knox. The Butler mine tunnel which drained the Butler mine and ten square miles of mines around it, became the outfall for more than mine water. A not so reputable businessmen who owned hi way auto repair garage located five miles from the Butler mine tunnel. Used a borehole located inside his garage as dumping spot for highly toxic chemicals imported from New Jersey. Billions of gallons of toxins was poured into the abandoned mines underlying Pittston township. Eventually forming perched ( or local) pools. In July of 1979 these pools overflowed into the Butler tunnel drainage network. Eventually making its way into the Susquehanna river. Forming a huge forty mile long sheen over the water. Local and even national news medias, as well as goverment agencies swarmed to the area. The toxic chemicals reached equilbrium and stopped flowing into the river a few weeks later. Also about that time the source was located, the owner arrested. A monitoing system was built on top of the tunnel with a direct connection to the then EPA. During periods of heavy rain , and huricanes the tunnel becomes a source of concern for local agencies as well as citizens. The only time the tunnel spilled toxic chemicals since 1979 was September 1984 during a high water event caused by hurricane Gloria.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:47 pm 
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Supposed to read " Port Griffiths". Sorry for the typo, having troubles with logging in to edit.


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 Post subject: re
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 4:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2009 12:47 pm
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Location: philly 'burbs
figures it was from jersey. putzed up their own state so bad they gotta get rid of their crap in pa.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:16 pm
Posts: 479
Location: Anthracite Region of PA
I can remember watching that on TV as a kid (I know I'm aging myself). Wasn't that right upsteam of the bridge in Pittston?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:41 pm 
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yes it ws. yeh I also remember it on TV. Time flys unfortunately


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 5:15 pm
Posts: 381
Location: State College, PA
does the buttler tunnel still exsist or did they reclaim it casue of this?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 2:34 pm
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Location: Within 60 Miles of the Northern Anthracite Field
its still there, but its only about a 4 foot round discharge like in the pics. im not sure how much water it discharges a day, im sure you can find that somewhere. good info there tony. ill add bit on the site itself as its seen now. it is just up stream from the pittston river bridge on the east side of the river. there are monitoring cameras on the opening of the tunnel, the river launch point and the monitoring house that sits directly above the tunnel about 50 feet back from the portal. we were there in maybe 2007 or so when they were doing practice containment drills in case of another discharge. they had that big barge there stringing some kind of net of sorts across the water down to the bridge. we talked for a bit with the operators there and got into the monitoring house where there is a small shaft, or manhole i guess, that drops down into the actual tunnel itself. at the bottom, down in the tunnel is a chemical sensor and a small water wheel for measuring the velocity of the water. another scale is there as well to monitor daily flow. thats about all i know of the place.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:53 pm
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Location: Mayflower, the capital of Wilkes- Barre
One of the few mine related areas I dont mind staying far away from, thanks for taking one for the team though!

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:24 am 
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Location: Hard coal region, PA
Yeah this is an easy one to spot from the road.. If youre on the Ft. Jenkins Bridge, headed from pittston to west pittston, take a look back at the east bank of the river (behind you to the right) You'll spy the tunnel outfall. And if it happens to be summer time when you see it, you'll probably also see 2 or three people fishing in front of it because of the cool mine air outcasting... :roll:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:11 pm 
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Location: philly 'burbs
UGMiner Banks wrote:
And if it happens to be summer time when you see it, you'll probably also see 2 or three people fishing in front of it because of the cool mine air outcasting... :roll:


hahaha, oh man! is this common knowledge in the area what's comin' outta there?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:25 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 2:34 pm
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Location: Within 60 Miles of the Northern Anthracite Field
yea its only local mine pool overflow coming out of there now. unless there is an exceptionally heavy rain, which hasnt happened since the 80s, it wont discharge chemicals. with that said, you still wont see me fishing there. then again you wont see me fishing anywhere either...... :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:47 pm
Posts: 143
Location: NEPA
If you remember correctly chris, I have the whole conversation with the technician on site that day on video tape, he gave us all of the information on it, with how much if flows and stuff like that, i'll have to find the tape and watch it


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:23 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 2:34 pm
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Location: Within 60 Miles of the Northern Anthracite Field
oh sweet, i totally forgot you had the camera that day. ill have to take a look with you.

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