DEP To Eliminate Dangerous Mine Highwall In Allegheny County

The Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation has begun its Coal Run Project in Bridgeville Borough, Allegheny County.

DEP is managing the $325,394 reclamation of a dangerous highwall in a densely populated neighborhood on McLaughlin Run Road.

The highwall is a remnant of the neighborhood’s mining past. Once cut into the hillside for an entrance to a long-abandoned mine, the highwall now shows signs of collapsing and presents a danger to residents.

Loose boulders have fallen off the highwall and into neighbors’ backyards.  A footpath along the top has given kids access to play and climb on the face of the wall, risking serious injury or death.

“The elimination of this unstable, dangerous highwall will protect the kids from falls and protect homes and yards from damage caused by falling boulders. We do reclamations such as this one to leave Pennsylvania safer and better than we found it,” John Stefanko, DEP’s Deputy Secretary of Active and Abandoned Mine Operations said.

Although the mine is sealed, a portion of the Pittsburgh coal seam is exposed at the site, which creates the potential for an underground mine fire.

Working for DEP, Eagle Contracting, Inc. of Clarion will step the slope of the wall so that it is stabilized; build a retaining structure; and cover the exposed coal seam.

This reclamation is being financed from fees paid by coal companies on each ton of coal mined in the commonwealth.

The project is expected to be completed in October.

For more information, call 412-442-4000.


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