Surface Structures Impacted By Subsidence From Pennsylvania Coal Mines, 2003 to 2008

Iannacchione, Anthony T
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2011
Underground bituminous coal mining is a large and significant industry within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and it has a legacy of environmental consequence. For example, in 2008, 13.5 acres (5.5 hectares) of land were undermined by longwall mining every day. Laws and regulations have been promulgated requiring companies involved in this industry to remedy mining damage caused to homes, businesses, and land; replace impaired water supplies; and repair impacts to streams and wetlands. The regulations and technical standards set by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) have been put in place to assure that coal operations comply with ACT 54 of the Bituminous Mine Subsidence & Land Conservation Act and other related legislation. These regulations and standards require operations to address impacts when a mining permit is submitted and as permits are modified and extended. One of the special provisions of ACT 54 is the requirement by the PA DEP to produce an assessment of the surface impacts of mining every five years. The University of Pittsburgh was contracted by the PA DEP to perform the 3rd assessment, which spanned from August 21, 2003, to August 20, 2008. This paper details the findings related to surface structure undermined during this period. A total of 3,735 structures were tracked. Four-hundred-fiftysix reported effects were found, and each required additional information and analysis. The majority of the reported effects were associated with eight longwall mines. Characteristics of the structures were analyzed and discussed, with special attention to those with reported effects. The number of undamaged and reportedly damaged structures (i.e., dwelling, barn, commercial building, etc.) undermined during the assessment period were listed. Lastly, the resolution status and type of resolution were analyzed for all structure reported effects.
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