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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

DEP Announces Release of Bituminous Mining Subsidence Report

DEP Announces Release of Bituminous Mining Subsidence Report

HARRISBURG -- The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has released the fourth in a series of ongoing reports detailing the effects of surface subsidence related to underground bituminous coal 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.

“This report provides vital information about the significance of bituminous mining on Pennsylvania’s landscape,” DEP Deputy Secretary for Active and Abandoned Mine Operations John Stefanko said. “We will use this information to evaluate the effectiveness of our mining program and consider ways to enhance the program in the future.”

The report, mandated by Act 54, details the amount of structures, water supplies and streams undermined during a five-year assessment period. It also provides an overview of the type of effects to surface structures and surface features, as well as information on how long it took to resolve those issues. Three previous Act 54 reports covered 1993 through 2008.

According to the report, there were 46 underground coal mines active during the reporting period beneath 31,343 acres of land, an 18 percent decline in the amount of land undermined during the previous five-year assessment period. In total, there were approximately 1,250 different “effects,” or incidents reported to DEP during this most recent five-year period by its staff, coal companies or land owners.

Other findings of the report include:

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