Coal Mining Proposed at Former Mayview Property

The developer that bought the former Mayview State Hospital property is asking South Fayette Township officials to allow it to perform surface mining to remove coal.

The developer that bought the former Mayview State Hospital site three years ago is asking South Fayette Township officials to allow it do a “full-scale mining operation” on the property to remove coal.

Aloe Brothers LLC, which in 2010 bought the former state hospital property in South Fayette, wants to conduct surface mining on the land to retrieve coal 40 feet beneath the ground.

Dennis Regan, who is Aloe’s project manager, claimed that the coal removal is mainly to stabilize the ground to begin developing the property.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, there is a coal mine located beneath the property that was used to heat the hospital buildings, but it was abandoned in the 1960s. The newspaper also reported that the state retained the property's mineral rights in the sale.

“It’s an Earth-moving project so we can build our development there," Regan said. “Part of the process of that development is removing (the coal).”

Aloe is petitioning South Fayette Township to grant it a variance for mineral removal because the property is zoned as a business district. The township is holding a public hearing inside the municipal building at 7 p.m. Wednesday to get feedback from residents and other affected parties.

The area that would be surface mined encompasses the lower property off Mayview Road that is surrounded by Chartiers Creek.

South Fayette Township Engineer Mike Benton did not have specifics on the proposal, although he said the project is “feasible.”

“They’re asking to do a full scale mining operation,” Benton said. “It sounds like it will be pretty extensive.”

He said the township is expecting a big crowd for the public hearing and plans to move it to the senior center on the other side of the municipal building. Benton was not sure if the South Fayette commissioners would make a decision on the variance Wednesday night.

“It’s hard to say right now,” Benton said of the outcome. “There are definitely a lot of unknowns and we don’t see this thing very often.”

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B February 27, 2013 at 03:09 AM
Unfortunately it is not currently legal to mine that property, hence the need for the zoning variance. Since they are asking for the variance, the township needs to take into consideration any and all effects it will have on the residents and community. If you say the trucks are transported in pieces then so be it, again still increased truck traffic on a road not designed for such. It took me 2 minutes to see videos of trucks being transported as a whole on youtube so I know they have done it that way before. Judging from your comments, you are starting to sound like the developer or a shill for the developer and getting a little defensive here. Clearly PR isn't your strong suit. How much of it they want to mine is certainly a question they should have to answer for the zoning board. Blanket approval to open a full scale mining operation for an undetermined amount of time is a recipe for a complete nightmare. As far as the train, again, you have addressed nothing. The crossing has no signal whatsoever. Sure it may have been ok in the past when mayview road was infrequently used. Today, that is a very active crossing and if rail was used, it should have at the very minimum, warning lights to oncoming trains. You may think that people can build and develop things with complete wanton and disregard for public and environmental safety because it is 'their property'. Unfortunately, that is not how this country works.
Adam Rossi February 27, 2013 at 02:24 PM
" If they follow the rules and do it legally, then you and everyone should mind your own business" It currently is NOT legal to mine coal at that site, that's what this zoning hearing for a 'special exemption' is about, they are trying to change the law to make it legal. "You act like this is a huge piece of property and will take years to complete." How many years will it take to complete? "If they want to haul coal again, who are you or anyone to say they can't." I'm an environmentalist who doesn't believe in coal fired generation. I can't stop it or change it globally yet, but this is an excellent opportunity where my voice and other concerned residents sharing the same sentiment can be heard and possibly make a difference at keeping that coal in the ground where it belongs in my humble opinion.
Arcole February 28, 2013 at 02:57 AM
adam and bryan, I guess you didn't like reading the truth, so you had my posts deleted - you nimbys are all the same, I bet you sit down too !!!
Becky Brindle February 28, 2013 at 11:43 AM
Here is the update: http://patch.com/A-2tKC
John Helry February 28, 2013 at 04:32 PM
The orange water that we see from mine drainage is caused by the oxidation of sulfide metals, which is iron in our area. This occurs regardless of whether surface or deep-wall mining has occurred. The elevated acidity and low pH are problematic because many species cannot survive in highly acidic environments. Watershed reclamation is quite challenging, with Wingfield Pines providing an excellent example of acid mine drainage remediation. Obviously this won't be necessary if the appropriate steps are taken at the outset to protect Chartiers creek.


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