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On June 30, 2006 approximately 31 rail cars of a train operated by Norfolk Southern Corporation derailed near Gardeau, in Norwich Township, McKean County, Pennsylvania. The derailment resulted in sodium hydroxide spilling into the environment that caused damage to the natural resources of Big Fill Run, Sinnemahoning-Portage Creek and the Driftwood Branch of Sinnemahoning Creek.

Thereafter, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Norfolk Southern reached a settlement agreement. As part of the settlement, Norfolk Southern agreed to pay the Commonwealth $7,350,000 as restitution for the natural resource damages that occurred. The Commission received one-half of that amount or $3,675,000 and under the settlement must utilize the funds (minus its investigative and response costs of $93,000) for purposes of developing and implementing projects that benefit recreational fishing and boating and the aquatic resources of Cameron, McKean, Elk and Potter counties.


To be eligible, projects must be located in and benefit fishing, boating and the aquatic resources of Cameron, McKean, Elk or Potter County. Eligible projects must occur on lands owned by the applicant in fee simple or where the applicant has a long-term lease or other agreement with the landowner for the site. The nature and the duration of the applicant’s interest in the property will be determined by the project type. As a condition of a grant, the PFBC will require that the project site be kept open and accessible to the public at reasonable hours and times of the year consistent with the nature and intended use of the site.

Program Guidance (MS Word)
Sinnemahoning Creek Watershed Conservation Plan

Sinnemahoning 2020 RFP & Grant Application Package

(PDF) or (MS Word)

PA Angler & Boater Magazine

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