Laurel Highlands Mining Permit

Last week I attended a public meeting regarding a deep mine application for New Enterprise Stone and Lime. This stone quarry is across the street from Hidden Valley. It wasn’t a very large turnout and only three people shared their concerns. We were surprised not to see any representatives from Hidden Valley Resort or the Home Owners Association.

When you’re on top of the mountain you can see only a portion of New Enterprise surface mining operations. They propose to deep mine 240 acres for LIMESTONE, NOT COAL. Approximately five and a half additional acres would be surfaced mined to open up an entrance. Here is a link to an aerial map.

Concern arises from the amount of impact the operations may have on the Shaffer Run watershed. Shaffer and Kooser Run are tributaries that may be impacted by the mining. They both feed into Laurel Hill Creek. If you recall, this creek made its way to one of America’s top 10 endangered rivers. More recently it made the headlines when a bottling company wanted to with draw 108,000 gallons of water a day. That permit was denied.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Recourses (DEP) is an incredible web site for homeowners. You can search by your zip code or check out their digitized maps to see if there is mining underneath your property! So far 11 of 43 Pennsylvania county maps are posted. Somerset County is still being processed. They even have a Help Desk, the number is 1-800-922-1678.

The DEP has an e-letter that you can sign up for if you would like to keep up with their news! Here’s the Link!

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