DEP mine bureau comes through for Pine resident

Jane Ford

Pine Township

Over a year ago I contacted my local municipality with concerns regarding stormwater that has increased both in quantity and property damage.

The stormwater flows onto my property from adjoining properties – all supposedly controlled by the Stormwater Management Act of Pennsylvania.

The excessive stormwater continues to destroy my property.

My property is located in the area of the 100-year-old Hallville Mine, one of many local mining operations with relatively shallow mine shafts.

After the coal was mined the shafts were simply abandoned leaving relatively no evidence of the mining operation.

Occasionally there is a subsidence, i.e., a section of Route 208 developed a large hole several years ago and a backyard on Forest Drive collapsed.

This is typical of the unused mine shafts.

My recent experience involves the excessive stormwater.

The stormwater plan for a subdivision very near me has the stormwater directed into one of these underground mine shafts.

It has been a year of meeting after meeting at the local level with no results.

In the last two years I have had two areas of subsidence on my property.

I contacted the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation.

They reviewed the situation and made a plan to fix both areas.

They also indicated that since the entire area near Route 208 was mined, it is very possible that the excessive water on the surface along with what’s being diverted into the mine shaft acts as holding areas and cause the subsidence.

And now for the good news:

The geologist from DAMR came the next week, looked at the situation and verified that it was indeed a mine subsidence.

He was very informative.

One week – yes, one week later, a truck arrived with an excavator, another truck with a load of limestone to fill the hole, another truck with topsoil to finish the job, seed and fertilizer and pleasant workers.

The problem was fixed in less than two hours in both cases of subsidence.

The workers loaded the equipment and politely said goodbye.

Thank you, DEP.