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Proposed Mine 78 Surface No. 3 Mine

Background

Rosebud Mining Company (Rosebud) has applied for a new surface coal and auger mining permit to be known as the Mine 78 No. 3 Mine. The proposed location is in Richland Township, Cambria County and Windber Borough and Paint Township, Somerset County.

The total project area for the proposed surface mine permit would be 279.7 acres. Within that project area, Rosebud is proposing to disturb 90.2 acres of currently forested and previously (surface and deep) mined land. Coal removal would take place on 46.6 acres of the project area. The project area also includes an active Mine 78 deep mine and preparation plant. The proposed surface mine permit total project area is outlined in red on the map below.

The proposed coal mining activity would include blasting operations and would discharge treated wastewater (to remove elevated contamination) into unnamed tributaries of Paint Creek as well as Paint Creek, which is a tributary to the Stonycreek River pursuant to a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Both receiving waterways are designated cold water fisheries in 25 Pa. Code Chapter 93 and listed as impaired for metals (iron, manganese, and aluminum) from acid mine drainage (AMD).

If approved, the operator estimates that this operation would last from 3 to 5 years and disturbed areas would be restored after completion. Rosebud would be required to secure bonding adequate to reclaim the site.

Adjacent to and underlying the proposed site, Rosebud is currently operating the Mine 78 underground deep mine and prep plant (permit No. 56841328) and associated Mine 78 coal refuse disposal area (CRDA permit No. 56743705), which have been operational since approximately 2005. Residents are likely aware of and have seen active operations and truck traffic, but the proposed activity would result in different activity (including blasting) and an expanded footprint.


Permitting/Approvals

Surface Mining Permit (SMP) Application

On August 26, 2021, DEP received Rosebud’s Surface Coal Mining Permit (SMP) application (No. /56210102) for the proposed Mine 78 Surface No. 3 Mine. Applications must include all necessary application sections, or modules, based on the proposed activity. This application includes a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit application (No. PA0279820) that can be found in Module 2. DEP accepted this application as administratively complete, which simply means that all the parts are in the application, without considering the application’s merits. On September 15, 2021, DEP’s technical staff began reviewing the application to determine if it complies with Pennsylvania’s laws and regulations for coal mining.

More information on surface coal mining can be found on DEP’s website.

 Accordion



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

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:

The public notice in the Somerset Daily American was published on November 9, 16, 23, and 30, 2021. The final publication date began a 30-day public comment period which ends on December 30, 2021. A separate public notice was published in the December 4, 2021 edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin, which initiated a comment period that runs through January 3, 2022.

DEP has elected to extend the comment periods until January 31, 2022, which gives attendees of the upcoming public meeting an additional 10 days to submit comments afterward.

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:

  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
    Cambria District Mining Operations
    286 Industrial Park Road
    Ebensburg, PA 15931
    814-472-1900
    (Contact: Melanie Ford-Wigfield at mfordwigfi@pa.gov)

Rosebud Mining Company sent letters to Paint Township, Somerset County and Richland Township, Cambria County to inform both local governments that it submitted the application to DEP, provide basic details on the proposal, and that the townships may submit comments to become part of the land use review.

More information on the public notification requirements for coal mining permit applications can be found on DEP’s website.

Virtual Public Information Meeting:

DEP will hold a virtual public information meeting for interested individuals to learn more about the proposed activity and ask questions of DEP permitting staff and the applicant. DEP will answer questions at the meeting and will follow up with individuals afterward if needed.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Individuals who want to participate or have questions should contact nndimbie@pa.gov or 412-442-4126 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 953 8394

Contact Information:

If you have questions about this application or DEP’s application review process, please attend the public meeting detailed above or contact:

  • Michael Crowe
    Acting Environmental Group Manager
    DEP Cambria District Mining Office
    miccrowe@pa.gov
    814-472-1889

If you have questions about environmental justice, please contact:

  • Ngani Ndimbie
    Environmental Justice Regional Coordinator
    nndimbie@pa.gov
    412-442-4126

Environmental Justice

This proposed location of this mine is an environmental justice (EJ) area. When this type of permit is submitted for an EJ area, the department engages in enhanced public outreach as described in the current EJ Public Participation Policy. EJ Areas are mapped on DEP’s EJ Areas Viewer at dep.pa.gov/EJViewer. More information on environmental justice can be found on DEP’s webpage.