PA state DEP to host info meeting Monday on proposed mine in Athens Township

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(Williamsport, PA) – Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will host a public informational meeting to answer questions and accept comments from residents regarding the proposed Minard Mine in Athens Township, Bradford County. The meeting will take place on Monday, July 31, 2023, from 6-8 PM at the Athens Area High School Auditorium, 401 W Frederick St., Athens. Representatives from DEP and the applicant, Bishop Brothers Construction Company, Inc. (“Bishop Brothers”), will be present at the meeting to answer questions and accept public comments.

Bishop Brothers has applied for an industrial mineral surface mining permit and associated National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for its proposed Minard Mine, located along the Chemung River just west of the boroughs of Sayre and Athens, PA, approximately half a mile from the intersection of Mile Lane Road (SR-4020) and Meadowlark Drive (T-303).

The mining plan is proposed to be phased over a number of years, and the estimated life of the operation is 20 years.  The proposed total project area includes 360.7 acres, of which 150.7 acres of cropland and forestland would be disturbed. The proposed surface mining activity would include blasting and removal of sandstone from the hillside. Mining of sand and gravel would be conducted in the area between Tutelow Creek and the Chemung River. A processing area is also proposed for crushing and screening of mined material.

An information sheet with more details about the proposed mining activity, an electronic copy of the permit application, and associated maps can be viewed on DEP’s website at https://www.dep.pa.gov/About/Regional/North-central-Regional-Office/Community-Information/Pages/Minard-Mine.aspx.  Paper copies of the application are available for public review during regular business hours at the DEP Moshannon District Mining Office, located at 186 Enterprise Drive, Philipsburg, PA 16866, and at the Athens Township Municipal Building, located at 45 Herrick Avenue, Sayre, PA 18840.

Attendees may bring written comments to the public informational meeting and give them to DEP staff, or they may make a verbal statement of no more than three minutes duration at the meeting.  Written comments will also be accepted until August 25, 2023 and should be sent to John Mital, Licensed Professional Geologist, Moshannon District Mining Office, via email at [email protected] or via mail to the Moshannon District Mining Office, 186 Enterprise Drive, Philipsburg, PA 16866.

The proposed project site is near the Environmental Justice (EJ) area of Athens Borough. According to DEP’s currently adopted EJ Policy, the project will have an enhanced public participation process appropriate to the project scale. The public participation process includes this meeting, written comments, informal meetings, and other outreach.  For more information or questions, please contact Jordi Comas, Environmental Justice Coordinator for DEP’s North Central Regional Office, at [email protected] or 570-327-3656.

Persons with a disability who wish to participate and require an auxiliary aid, service, or other accommodation should contact Jordi Comas or the Pennsylvania Hamilton Relay Service at (800) 654-5984 (TDD) to discuss how DEP can meet their needs.

For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, please visit the website or follow DEP on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.