The Kernsville Dam removal plan submitted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is still under review with the Army Corps of Engineers. Currently DEP is conducting the required Chapter 106 analysis to determine appropriate mitigation measures that will offset the adverse effects on the Schuylkill River Desilting Basin, which is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. DEP’s Alternatives Analysis and proposed mitigation are included below.

DEP Alternatives Analysis and Proposed Mitigation

Alternatives Analysis

The Alternatives Analysis for the proposed New Kernsville Dam removal project is attached(Click Here to View)The analysis concludes that alternatives that would avoid or minimize the effect of the project on historic properties has been considered and that the preferred alternative is complete site removal.

Proposed Mitigation

It was determined that the dam removal project will have an adverse effect on the Schuylkill River Desilting Basin, which is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.  The dam is considered a contributing resource to the historic property.  In accordance with Section 106, it is necessary to mitigate for the adverse effect. In consultation with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation of Natural Resources and the Department of Environmental Protection, the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office, the Blue Mountain Wildlife organization, and Schuylkill River Greenways, the PA DEP offers the following as mitigation:

  • Three or four interpretive kiosks will be installed after the project is complete.
  • One kiosk will be placed near the parking area and will supplement the Blue Mountain Wildlife sign which is near the newly-created wetland.  It will further detail the Schuylkill River Desilting Project.
  • The remaining kiosks will be installed at highly visible and accessible locations near the project location.  One will address the dam itself.
  • The other two kiosks may address the:
    • Recreational history of the area as well as the future, enhanced recreational opportunities resulting from the dam removal
    • The trail systems and their histories
    • The canal and/or Schuylkill Navigation history
  • Each kiosk will include text and be supported by graphics, including historic photographs, maps, and other illustrations, as appropriate. The consulting parties will be afforded an opportunity to review and comment on the kiosks prior to finalization and fabrication.

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The Removal of the New Kernsville Dam

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced their intention to remove the New Kernsville Dam in Berks County.  Schuylkill River Greenways has been following the process and collecting information as it unfolds  in an effort to gain a full understanding of the plans and its potential  impact on the health of the Schuylkill River.

This page serves to share the information we have collected with our members and followers who may be interested.  The first link is to a very useful  and well-done overview from  Blue Mountain Wildlife that provides a good background of the project.  The following links provide various other information and reports that we have collected.

We will continue to update this page with information as we collect it, but please note that this is by no means a complete collection of the universe of information available on this subject.

The Board of Schuylkill River Greenways has not taken any position on this project and this information is being posted for informational purposes only, not as a means of advocacy.

Blue Mountain Wildlife Background Details

Removal of the New Kernsville Dam

Bureau Of Abandoned Mine Reclamation Files

New Kernsville Dam Sounding 2018 PDF

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2019 New Kernsville Sounding Layout 1

New Kernsville Dam Silt Volume Scenario PDFs

Bureau of Waterways Engineering and Wetlands Files

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