Maple Creek shut down

PENNSYLVANIA coal company Maple Creek Mining last week shut down its longwall mining operation after the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) refused a permit for mining near a small stream.
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Maple Creek loadout facility. Courtesy Maple Creek Mining.

Angie Tomlinson

The DEP said the company could continue to longwall mine in other areas not immediately below the creek - and would be allowed to mine beneath the creek if it used the room-and-pillar method.

Maple Creek opted instead opted to shut down the operation, reasoning it risked losing equipment and injuring employees if it allowed the operation to continue until it reached the part of the coal seam directly under the stream, reported the Charleston Gazette.

The DEP said Maple Creek could not comprehensively prove it could protect the stream from subsidence effects.

According to the Charleston Gazette halt of operations have left 470 workers idle.

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