Mining Threatens Tom’s Creek

Photo by Tusik Only

Tom’s Creek is a small trout stream with headwaters in the Michaux State Forest, providing drinking water to the town of Fairfield, PA. Tom’s Creek is designated by the State as a High Quality stream. This high-quality stream is under a threat by a potential expansion of the Specialties Granules Incorporated (SGI) mining operation. SGI mines a green colored mineral called basalt, which is used as the surface material of shingles used in home construction. An expansion of the mining operation would discharge basalt stormwater into Tom’s Creek. The High-Quality designation has protections but does allow variances if there is an economic need.

Status Update: We are working with a local watershed group, Friends of Tom’s Creek, to file a petition to upgrade the stream from High Quality to Exceptional Value using macro-invertebrate sampling and other unique qualities for justification. The Petition is filed with the State and ruled on by the PA Environmental Quality Board. Sampling was conducted in 2016 and additional sampling is scheduled for 2017 before a petition is drafted and submitted.



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