Rustic Ridge Blasting Update

Posted by on Jan 11, 2018 in Coal, Deep Mine, Indian Creek, Posts, Water, Yough River | 0 comments

On December 21, 2017, CME Engineering sent out a Notice of Pre-Blast Survey on behalf of LCT Energy for the Rustic Ridge Deep Mine. The notice indicated that LCT Energy intends to begin blasting to open up the portal for the deep mine on January 22nd. However, according to the DEP Blasting Inspector, LCT Energy has not submitted the necessary materials for their blasting permit, which is required before any blasting takes place. The Blasting Inspector stated that these materials often take at least a month to review. As a result, it is highly unlikely that blasting will take place this month as originally projected. If and when LCT Energy decides to move forward with blasting, they are required to post a blasting schedule in a local newspaper at least 10 days, but not more than 30 days, before their planned date. We will notify local residents if we see this notice posted.

Additionally, before they begin blasting, LCT Energy is required by law to conduct all requested pre-blast surveys for homeowners within a ½ mile radius of blasting activities. They may also perform pre-blast surveys requested by others close to the proposed blastingactivities. The survey provides a baseline assessment of all structures, wells, and watersystems on your property before blasting takes place to open up the deep mine. If yourstructures are damaged as a result of blasting activities, then you can use your pre-blast surveyas a basis for proving damage.

We suspect that not all residents within the required radius were notified. Any homeowner who believes their property could be damaged by blasting should request a Pre-Blast Survey from CME Engineering whether or not you received a notification. Please reference the above map to see if your home is near the estimated ½ mile boundary (inner circle). We suggest those within the larger circle request a survey. Here is a sample letter you can mail to CME Engineering to request a survey or call Ashley Brehm at CME Engineering at 814-443- 3344. However, it is important to note that a Pre-Blast Survey alone cannot always protect you and your property. According to current regulations, homeowners must ultimately prove that damage occurred as a result of blasting. So, it is crucial to keep your own documentation of blasts to support your case – including a log of blasting times, videos, and photos of the blasts and resulting damage.

And remember – Mountain Watershed Association has appealed the permits issued for the Rustic Ridge #1 Mine. Our hearing will begin on January 29th, 2018 at the Pittsburgh Environmental Hearing Board Office. The full hearing is scheduled to take place January 29-Feb 1; Feb 6-Feb 9; Feb 26-27; if needed: March 2; March 12; Apr 9-10. We are organizing a carpool to attend the hearing on the first day, January 29th. If you are interested in taking part, please contact Ashley at ashley@mtwatershed.com or by calling 724-455- 4200×6#.

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