January 28, 2009

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More than 1,000 acres in Monroe County added to game lands

HARRISBURG - The Board of Game Commissioners, by notational vote, approved accepting a 1,100-acre tract of land located in Ross and Eldred Townships, Monroe County as the Game Commission’s portion of an anticipated settlement in a Natural Resources Damage Assessment case filed against CBS for the Palmerton Zinc Superfund Site in Carbon, Northampton and Monroe counties.

The Game Commission is a participating Trustee along with other state and federal agencies in this case.  When final settlement is reached, the transfer of this property to the Game Commission would fully compensate the agency as the Commonwealth’s Trustee of damages incurred to wildlife habitat and State Game Lands within the area of the former zinc smelting facility. 

This facility discharged metals to the surrounding environment via air emissions and through the release of solid wastes, including the creation of a large waste pile, locally known as the “cinder bank.”  Hazardous substances released to the environment from these facilities include arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, manganese, and zinc. The release of these metals resulted in the contamination and defoliation of thousands of acres of land, including state game lands.

The mostly forested 1,100 acres, also known as “Kings’ Manor,” is near State Game Land 168. More than a mile of Aquashicola Creek runs through the new property, it is an Important Bird Area, and protects the Blue Mountain migratory corridor identified in Pennsylvania’s Wildlife Action Plan.


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