Mine Subsidence Section
Duties of the Mine Subsidence Section
The mine subsidence section consists of a diversified group of employees performing a variety of tasks related to underground mining and mine subsidence. The section is made up of mining and civil engineers, mining specialists, and insurance representatives. The major functions of the section include:
- Administration of activities related to Pennsylvania's Mine Subsidence Insurance (MSI) fund including marketing efforts, insurance sales, claim investigations, and settlements of mine subsidence damage claims.
- Investigation of claims of subsidence damage to structures and land overlying active underground mining operations.
- Preparation of mine subsidence risk evaluations for public school site construction.
- Providing underground mining information to the public, industry, and other government agencies.
- Acquisition, preservation and digitization of underground mine maps. The subsidence section, through its Technical Services Unit (TSU), maintain one of the largest mine map repositories in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Mining Specialists work in the section's Technical Services Unit.. One of the major duties of the TSU is the acquisition, preservation and digitization of mine map collections. Through a cooperative agreement, the TSU is currently working with the University of Pittsburgh Archive Service Center to scan, catalog, and digitize the Consol Energy Collection housed at the Archive Service Center. The TSU is also working with Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) to scan, catalog, and digitize the Rochester and Pittsburgh Collection housed at IUP. In addition to these ongoing projects with universities, the TSU is also working with several private map collections in an effort to catalog and digitize as many underground mine maps as possible, preserving this information for future use. The TSU has recently completed a major project in Washington County by updating and completing mapping of underground mines in the county, and by making this information available via the Internet.
The TSU also provides technical support to other staff in the California District Office, as well as the Bureau of District Mining Operations. This support consists of providing assistance with GPS mapping projects, along with training on the various GPS units available for use. Additionally the TSU provides GIS support through various projects such as mine pool studies used to plan treatment facilities, as well as the identification of water resources for possible industrial uses.
The TSU provides direct support to the Mine Subsidence Insurance Fund. Two examples are MSIWeb and the Act155 mapping project. MSIWeb is an internal web-based application used by MSI staff to determine the need for Mine Subsidence Insurance and provide information relative to past subsidence investigations. The TSU is responsible for creating, developing, and maintaining data layers for the MSIWeb. The Act155 mapping project provides Adobe PDF maps of the local municipalities showing underground mined areas in specific communities. These maps are served out to the public at dep.pa.gov/msi.