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Zoning board approves Mine 37 cleanup project

By: Jackalyn Kovac

RICHLAND TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- An old Cambria County mine is on its way to becoming less of an eyesore for people living around it.

A cleanup project for Mine 37 received approval from the Richland Township zoning board Tuesday night.

Neighbors living near the mine say they've had some concerns, but the proposals have made the situation a win-win for everyone.

"They had shown different pictures of land they had already done work to, and it was impressive," said Ron Kermine. "I think it would be a win-win situation for the area down here."

As it sits now, Mine 37 is an abandoned mine in Richland Township. Neighbors see it as an eyesore, however, an Ebensburg company hopes to change the view for the number of people living around it.

"If you really want to look at it the way it is now, it is an eyesore. But new shrubbery would probably help the wildlife down there, so I think it would be a great thing myself," said Kermine.

In addition to the new shrubbery, pools for water will be dug for water runoff, in hopes of removing the contamination from the Paint Creek nearby.

According to Township Zoning Officer David Mills, the plan is for Ebensburg Power Company to haul out the remaining coal out of the mine, burn it down to ash then take the ash back to the mine, all without disturbing the local community.

The trucks will travel from the mine onto Mine 37 Road to Eisenhower Boulevard then travel onto state Route 219 to Ebensburg and back.

"All those roads are covered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, those are all state roads, so that will limit the amount of traffic that will go past the residents," says Mills.

Right now, the project is just waiting to get several permits from the state. The first step in the process will be creating  a road for trucks to reach the mine.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times