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Proposed Rustic Ridge #1 Mine Expansion

Background

LCT Energy LP has submitted a major permit revision application for its Rustic Ridge #1 Mine located in Donegal Township, Westmoreland County and Saltlick Township, Fayette County. The application seeks to expand the existing Coal Mine Activity Permit (CMAP) [Permit No. 65131301] by adding an additional 1,452 acres to the underground permit area and 1,411.5 acres to the subsidence control plan area. The proposed expansion is located to the north of Rustic Ridge #1’s existing underground permit boundary and does not include any new surface disturbances. If approved, this application would increase the permitted underground acreage to 4,296.9 acres and the subsidence control plan acreage to 4,150.5 acres.

Currently, Rustic Ridge #1 Mine is permitted as a room and pillar mine with no retreat mining with an area consisting of 2,844.9 acres of subsurface area, 2739.0 acres of subsidence control plan area, and 67.7 acres of surface area. The proposed expansion would extract coal from the Lower Kittanning coal seam, which is located at a depth ranging from 200 to 690 feet below ground surface (bgs) and an average depth over the proposed expansion area of 427-feet bgs. Water that will be collected and treated by either the erosion and sediment (E&S) control facilities or the mine drainage treatment facilities will be discharged to the unnamed tributary (UNT) 38337 to Champion Creek in accordance with the mine’s existing National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Outfalls 001 and 002 are the permitted discharge locations for the E&S control facilities, while Outfall 003 is the permitted discharge for the mine drainage treatment system. The NPDES permit establishes effluent limits which must be met prior to any water being discharged from the three outfalls to UNT 38337 to Champion Creek.

Permitting/Approvals

Major Permit Modification

On October 5, 2021, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) received LCT Energy LP’s major permit modification application (CMAP 65131301) for Rustic Ridge #1 Mine. Applicants must include all necessary application sections or modules required for the type of activity being proposed. This proposed revision would expand the existing permit boundary by the addition of 1,452 acres of underground permit area and 1,411.5 acres of subsidence control plan area. The proposed expansion is located to the north of the existing permit boundary.

On December 7, 2021, DEP accepted this application as administratively complete, which means that all the required sections/modules were contained within the application without consideration of the application’s merit. When the application was accepted as administratively complete it was assigned to a geologist and mining engineer to begin the technical review process to determine if the application complies with Pennsylvania’s laws and regulations related to coal mining. DEP’s technical review is ongoing, and DEP has not made a determination on the application.

More information regarding underground coal mining can be found on the DEP’s website at the following link:

 Accordion



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Notification Packets

The following information from elsewhere in the application was provided to the local and county stakeholders.

A paper copy of the renewal application and other associated documents can be found at the following locations. Please visit the webpages for each location for hours and additional information.

Donegal Township Municipal Office
 137 Hoffers Lane
Jones Mills, PA 15646
724-593-6309

Saltlick Township Municipal Building
147 Municipal Building Road
Melcroft, PA 15462
724-455-2866

DEP California District Mining Office
25 Technology Drive
California Technology Park
Coal Center, PA 15432
724-769-1100

DEP has information sheets and publications to help inform the public of their rights and DEP’s processes:

Public Participation

Public Notice and Comment Period:

DEP published public notice that an informal public conference was requested, and DEP intends to hold this event virtually and provide a public comment period. Notice was published in the Trib Total Media’s Mt. Pleasant Journal on May 4 and 11, 2022. The California District Mining Office will accept additional written comments from participants of the informal public conference two (2) weeks after the date of the proceeding until June 8, 2022. A separate public notice was published in the May 7, 2022 edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin, which initiated a comment period that will run through June 8, 2022.

On May 16, 2022, DEP issued a press release to provide additional notice of the informal public conference.

DEP reviews all submitted comments and will respond accordingly. Comments should include the commenter’s name, address, phone number and email address (if applicable).

Comments may be submitted to:

DEP California District Mining Office
25 Technology Drive
California Technology Park
Coal Center, PA 15432
724-769-1100
(Contact:  Bonnie Herbert at bherbert@pa.gov)

Virtual Informal Public Conference

DEP will hold a virtual informal public conference for interested individuals to learn more about the permit application DEP is reviewing and ask questions of DEP permitting staff. DEP will answer questions at the conference and respond afterward through a written comment response document.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022
6:00 – 8:00 PM

Individuals who want to participate should contact Lauren Fraley (lfraley@pa.gov, 412-442-4203) a minimum of 24 hours in advance to register. Please provide first and last name, phone number, and email address.

Event address for attendees
Audio conference:  +1-415-655-0003
Access code: 2632 984 3596

If you have questions about this revision application or DEP’s application review process, please contact:

Troy Williams
Environmental Group Manager
DEP California District Mining Office
troawillia@pa.gov
724-769-1100