WILLIAMSPORT - The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Thursday announced a $788,533 contract for an abandoned mine reclamation project in Coal Township.

The funds will be used to implement an erosion and sediment control plan, clearing and grubbing vegetation, grading 490,740 cubic yards, excavating 2,050 cubic yards for drainage, lining 1,540 square yards of rock and seeding 73.1 acres, DEP reported.

The contract was awarded to JBS Dirt Inc., Canastota, N.Y. The project is expected to start in January and be completed by March 9, 2015.

The area of the reclamation is described by DEP as being near Bear Valley.

In the same announcement, DEP said a $324,767 contract was awarded to E.M. Brown Inc., of Clearfield, to complete a similar project in Woodward Township, Clearfield County. The project is expected to start in early January and be completed by July 14 of this year.

Contracts were awarded on a competitive basis and are federally funded by Office of Surface Mining grants. Grant funds are supported by a fee on the modern coal industry and are distributed to states as annual grants to reclaim mine sites that were abandoned prior to passage of the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977.