Mining company. needs a plan for a landslide – Times News Online

Published on April 20, 2021 at 1:03 p.m.

The Department of Environmental Protection recently investigated two separate incidents that took place at the Lehigh Anthracite coal mine in the Panther Valley.

A landslide in early March created a large visible crack in the mountain. And in November, two rocks from blasting at the site landed in residents’ yards about half a mile away.

The blasting incident happened in November. It was raised recently at a Coaldale Borough Council meeting when Councilman Ken Hankey Jr. expressed concerns about rocks flying into Coaldale residents’ yards.

“We brought two rocks to town,” Hankey said.

One of the boulders weighed about 240 pounds and landed in the yard of a house on Ruddle Street, about half a mile from where the blasting took place, Hankey said.

No injuries were reported.

The Department of Environmental Protection confirmed that it had investigated the incident. Blasting at the site was temporarily halted, but resumed after DEP received a corrective action plan.

At the April borough council meeting, Hankey asked if the borough had received a copy of the corrective action plan.

Council members encouraged Hankey to contact Lehigh Anthracite for a copy of the report.

Council member Claire Remington said she was unable to provide answers to residents asking about the rocks.

“A lot of people ask questions, and I don’t know,” Remington said.

Since the meeting, Hankey said the mine has offered to meet with borough council members to discuss their concerns or address an upcoming meeting.

The rockslide was discovered on March 2, according to DEP. The mining company contacted the agency, which conducted an investigation that day. No injuries were reported.

Following the investigation, the area around the slide was blocked off.

Mining cannot resume in the area of ​​the landslide until Lehigh Anthracite submits a “highwall rehabilitation plan” for the site, according to a DEP spokesperson.

The United States Mine Safety and Health Administration is also investigating the landslide.

John Hadesty, director of security for Lehigh Anthracite, reached Monday, said his schedule made it difficult for him to answer questions about the incidents. However, he said such landslides are not uncommon and the mine has notified the relevant authorities.

“It was a rock drop to the bottom that happens in mining, the same way seams are in anthracite,” Hadesty said.

A large crack in a rock face on the Lehigh Anthracite property is clearly visible from Coaldale Borough. CHRIS REBER/TIMES NEWS

Virginia F. Goins