Group: Rustic Ridge #1 Deep Mine blasting set to begin |

Group: Rustic Ridge #1 Deep Mine blasting set to begin

Stephen Huba

Blasting for the Rustic Ridge #1 Deep Mine was scheduled to begin Monday.

The Mountain Watershed Association, a Fayette County conservation group, alerted nearby property owners via email on Monday that LCT Energy LP was planning to set off the first blast to open the mine portal at 3 p.m.

“As per DEP regulations, ‘blasting may cause your home to shake, and the effects of blasting may rattle windows, dishes and pictures hung on the wall,’ ” the alert said. “If you live near the blasting and are able to be home during the time of the blast, it is helpful to take videos or time-stamped pictures of any effects the blast may have on your property.”

Johnstown-based LCT Energy, a division of Robindale Energy, has been working on the mine’s development since 2010. It has permits to mine a 2,886-acre area in Donegal Township, Westmoreland County, and Saltlick Township, Fayette County, for metallurgical coal in the Lower Kittanning coal seam.

The Mountain Watershed Association challenged the permits over concerns that the mine would lead to further degradation of the Indian Creek Watershed.

The parties reached a settlement in January after LCT Energy agreed to address a series of environmental concerns. Among the conditions was a promise to decrease the decibels and frequency of blasts during construction.

LCT also agreed to limit blasting to between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday and Friday, according to the association. In the event that weather or other conditions prevent the completion of an already loaded blast, LCT may blast past 5 p.m. or between 7-9 a.m. the following day.

“If you live within a half-mile radius of blasting and requested to be notified, you should still be contacted by LCT at least one hour before blasting today,” the alert said.

LCT Energy officials could not be reached for comment.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter @shuba_trib.

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