In Memorium: Bruce Leavitt Consulting Hydrogeologist, Mine Drainage Treatment Pioneer

On December 1 the Abandoned Mine Reclamation community lost a long-time friend, supporter, and mentor. Bruce Leavitt, a consulting Hydrogeologist with a long history of working on mine drainage, lost his two and a half year battle with pancreatic cancer.

Bruce has contributed much to the science of Abandoned Mine Drainage treatment and AMR. His most recent contribution, the Trompe, has been gaining popularity and will likely be an integral "tool in the toolbox" to treat AMD.

The Trompe is currently being used as part of a passive treatment system at the North Fork Montour Run site on the grounds of the Pittsburgh airport as well as an active treatment plant in Clearfield County.

Bruce's brilliant mind and his ability to think outside the box when considering treatment options for AMD earned him a great deal of respect from his colleagues around the world.

Closer to home, Bruce was awarded the Mayfly Award this past summer at Pennsylvania's Annual Abandoned Mine Reclamation Conference in recognition of all his contributions to advance the science of AMR.

However, Bruce was never the stuffed shirt scientist. I found that out the first time I met him in 2007. Bruce and I were giving presentations about mine drainage to elementary school students in Washington County, Pa.

I was amazed at his ability to take a complex topic and distill it down to the point where it was understandable to school children. His jovial attitude and intelligence were a perfect combination. Heck, just being around him made me feel smart.

Tim Danehy of Stream Restoration, Inc. recently said, "Working with Bruce could be surprising at times as he had a habit for spontaneously breaking into song." Bruce was an active member of his church choir and enjoyed singing in Barbershop Quartets.

"Bruce's talents were not limited to the realm of mining, as he was also an avid farmer. Bruce and his family established and maintain Candle Tree Farm in Washington, PA where he could be seen this time of year sporting a top hat and bowtie that often caused him to be mistaken for the most interesting man in the world", said Danehy.

We're grateful for the time we've had on this planet with our friend and colleague and look forward to continue exploring his ideas for AMR . Our community is much richer in heart and mind for having known him.

Click Here to watch a presentation Bruce Leavitt made to the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee in October on the trompe technology he helped rediscover.

Click Here to read his complete obituary.

(Written By: By Andy McAllister, Regional Coordinator, Western PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation.)


Go To Preceding Article     Go To Next Article

Return to This PA Environment Digest's Main Page