Blasting still an option at surface mine in Elizabeth Township

Blasting could begin by late October at a coal mine in Elizabeth Township.

Amerikohl Mining Inc. said in an Aug. 10 notice published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that it proposes to conduct blasting at the Five Oaks Surface Mine along the northern side of Mill Road.

That does not mean that blasting will definitely occur, said W. David Maxwell, a vice president at Amerikohl.

"Any blasting will be minimal," he said.

The published legal notice said blasting could occur on or after Oct. 30, 2017, and continue through Oct. 30, 2018. It could take place, weather permitting, every day except Sundays between the hours of 8 a.m. and noon, 12:30 and 4:30 p.m., and 5 and 9 p.m. or dusk.

Mr. Maxwell said the company is required to advertise the possibility that blasting may occur at the surface mine. Blasting is used to remove material such as soil and rocks that sits above a coal seam. 

In a June 1 letter to the township, the Butler-based mining company said it did not intend to blast at the site, but the letter did not rule out future blasting. 


"It will be a market-driven decision," Mr. Maxwell said of the blasting, depending on what the company’s customers need.

The company also said in the letter that if it decides to pursue blasting, it will send surveys to nearby residents for their input.

Township officials said they oppose any blasting at the site.

"We are already on the record opposing it," said Donald Similo, vice president of Elizabeth Township commissioners.

Suzanne Elliott, freelance writer: 

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