Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Work To Extinguish Mine Fire In Carbon County Continues To Progress

The Department of Environmental Protection said Tuesday it is continuing drilling work to map the limits of the Jeansville mine fire in Banks Township, Carbon County.  
“DEP’s Bureau of Abandoned Mine Reclamation is continuing to monitor the progress of efforts to extinguish this mine fire,” said John Stefanko, deputy secretary for Office of Active and Abandoned Mine Operations. “We are working with the contractor to complete the exploratory drilling work as fast as is safely possible.”
Minichi Inc., of Dupont, Luzerne County has drilled 38 of the proposed 51 holes. Drilling activity is expected to finish by the end of August, but could be extended if additional drilling is needed to accurately define the limits of the fire.
The mine fire is burning beneath approximately 29 acres of mine land owned by Pagnotti Enterprises, of Wilkes-Barre. Hazleton Shaft Corporation is actively mining a portion of the property and is extinguishing parts of the mine fire burning within the permitted area.  
“DEP staff have been monitoring the air near the fire with sophisticated equipment, both daytime and overnight for the presence of hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide,” said Mike Bedrin, director of DEP’s Northeast Regional Office. “We are confident there are no dangerous gases that could impact the health and safety of nearby residents.”
To date, DEP’s Bureau of Air Quality has completed 25 air monitoring sessions at eight different areas within a 1 to 1½ mile radius of the fire. Monitoring results have not shown any danger to human health.
In July, the department added the eighth site, an area along Route 93 in the village of Coxeville, at the request of Banks Township Supervisors on behalf of residents in that community. Air monitoring will continue, and additional monitoring sites will be added if necessary.
Residents with a concern regarding the fire can call DEP’s Northeast Regional Office at 570-830-3057.

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