PENNSYLVANIA DEP RELEASES FOURTH IN SERIES OF REPORTS ON EFFECTS OF SURFACE SUBSIDENCE FROM UNDERGROUND MINING
January 12, 2015
PADEP has announced the release of the fourth in a series of ongoing reports detailing the effects of surface subsidence caused by underground mining in Pennsylvania. The report, prepared by the University of Pittsburgh, addresses the effects of mining in Armstrong, Beaver, Cambria, Clearfield, Elk, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Somerset and Washington counties. The report, mandated by Pennsylvania Act 54, details the extent of structures, water supplies and streams undermined during the five-year assessment period from 2008 – 2013. According to a news release by PADEP, the report notes that there were 46 underground coal mines active during the reporting period beneath a little more than 31,000 acres of land, an 18 percent decline in the amount of land undermined during the previous five-year assessment period.
In addition, the report found that: PADEP has identified more than double the amount of pre-mining wetland acreage; biological scores relying on insect life show improvement over time at sites impacted by flow loss; and that gate cut mitigation, a method of leveling land that has experienced subsidence, has emerged as a successful tool to restore streams to pre-mining conditions.
This article was authored by Robert G. McLusky, Jackson Kelly PLLC. For more information on the author, click here.