Two mine reclamation projects to move forward

July 15, 2016
Image description
Photo courtesy of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
A view of the former Westland Mine property
Image description
Photo courtesy of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
A view of the former Westland Mine property

Two mine sites in Washington County will be reclaimed after two projects were given the go-ahead by state and federal regulatory agencies.

State Reps. Brandon Neuman, D-North Strabane Township, and Pam Snyder, D-Jefferson, announced the reclamation efforts in Chartiers Township and Fredericktown.

Neuman’s announcement Thursday detailed a $1 million contract awarded to Berner Construction of Lancaster County to reclaim a 56-acre abandoned mine site in Westland near Route 519 and Ullom Road.

The project involves reinforcing and backfilling high walls for safety, as unauthorized all-terrain vehicle riding and accidents had been reported at the site, according to Neuman. The site, which sits within 500 feet of five homes, will also be graded and thousands of trees planted. The project is slated for completion by August 2017 pending approvals from the state Department of Environmental Protection. According to the site application filed with DEP, the property is owned by Thomas and Todd Kotyk of Houston.

Snyder announced a “huge gob pile” in Fredericktown was selected to be part of a $30 million federal program to reclaim abandoned mine sites.

The 90-foot high coal refuse site – the former Black Dog Hollow mine – sits within 500 feet of 60 homes in East Bethlehem Township.

The DEP will be working the site, eliminating erosion and reducing acid mine drainage as well as stabilizing hazardous slopes and structures.

The site, off Route 88 along Black Dog Hollow Road, is one of 14 approved by the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. No timetable was available for the project’s expected completion date.

David Singer covered municipal government and school boards in Avella, Burgettstown, Cecil, Canonsburg and Robinson Township, as well as oil and gas drilling, politics, technology and education. Formerly of WJPA and KDKA Radio, he graduated with journalism and philosophy degrees from Washington & Jefferson College and Point Park University.

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