WPCAMR Western Pennsylvania Coalition
for Abandoned Mine Reclamation

Community

Abandoned Mines and Poverty

Almost all of the counties in the WPCAMR service are have witnessed intensive coal mining for over a century while they fueled Pittsburgh's blast furnaces through the Industrial Revolution and two World Wars. The legacy of that era lives on with scarred landscapes and acid and metals polluted streams and rivers and an economy that has yet to fully recover from the collapse of that industry.

Abandoned Houses
Houses in an old coal company town

Sections of WPCAMR's service area have been mined for generations, and many residents are unware of the environmental problems left behind. Other impacts, such as agriculture and urban expansion, have threatened the region's unique biodiversity while attributing to a decline in aquatic health in the region's streams. The severity of these problems are magnified when paired with the community's lack of knowledge or complete understanding about them.

The poverty levels in this region of PA range from a low of 8.2 percent in Elk County to a high of 15.9 percent in Fayette County, as compared to the state average of 10.6 percent and the national average of 12.5 percent:

County Population Population Density Median Income H.S.
Grad
Bachelors Degree Poverty
    persons per
sq. mile
$ per
family
% of population,
age 25 and over
% pop.

Allegheny

1,281,666

1,755.3

41,346

33.9%

17.3%

10.8%

Armstrong

72,392

110.7

34,478

51.1%

7.1%

11.1%

Beaver

181,412

417.8

37,866

42.4%

11.1%

10.5%

Bedford

49,984

49.3

34,792

50.7%

6.7%

10.7%

Blair

129,144

245.6

34,224

49.9%

9.2%

12.3%

Cambria

152,598

221.8

31,230

47.4%

9.0%

11.8%

Cameron

5,974

15.0

33,685

50.0%

8.4%

10.1%

Centre

135,758

122.6

37,569

33.8%

18.8%

11.5%

Clearfield

83,382

72.7

32,960

51.0%

7.2%

12.8%

Clinton

37,914

42.6

32,938

48.0%

8.4%

12.4%

Elk

35,112

42.4

39,376

49.5%

8.3%

8.2%

Fayette

148,644

188.1

29,415

47.9%

7.2%

15.9%

Fulton

14,261

32.6

37,852

48.3%

5.7%

9.4%

Greene

40,672

70.6

31,622

47.6%

3.9%

14.6%

Huntingdon

45,586

52.2

34,180

47.3%

7.5%

11.9%

Indiana

89,605

108.1

32,443

46.4%

9.3%

14.2%

Jefferson

45,932

70.1

32,882

51.4%

7.7%

11.7%

Lawrence

94,643

262.6

34,483

45.7%

9.9%

12.2%

Mercer

120,293

179.1

35,635

45.2%

11.3%

12.3%

Somerset

80,023

74.5

31,824

50.3%

7.2%

12.3%

Venango

57,565

85.3

32,900

49.5%

8.3%

13.1%

Washington

202,897

236.7

40,372

42.6%

12.8%

9.7%

Westmoreland

369,993

360.8

39,837

41.2%

13.6%

9.4%

United States

281,421,906

79.6

41,994

28.6%

15.5%

12.4%

Pennsylvania

12,281,054

274.0

42,952

38.1%

14.0%

11.0%

 

 

226 Donohoe Rd, Suite 110, Greensburg, Pennsylvania 15601
phone/fax: 724 832-3625     email: info@wpcamr.org

© Western Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation