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Coal Mining Proposed at Former Mayview State Hospital Property

The developer that bought the former Mayview State Hospital property is asking South Fayette Township officials to allow it to perform surface mining to remove coal.

The developer that bought the former Mayview State Hospital site three years ago is asking South Fayette Township officials to allow it do a “full-scale mining operation” on the property to remove coal.

Aloe Brothers LLC, which in 2010 bought the former state hospital property in South Fayette, wants to conduct surface mining on the land to retrieve coal 40 feet beneath the ground.

Dennis Regan, who is Aloe’s project manager, claimed that the coal removal is mainly to stabilize the ground to begin developing the property.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, there is a coal mine located beneath the property that was used to heat the hospital buildings, but it was abandoned in the 1960s. The newspaper also reported that the state retained the property's mineral rights in the sale.

“It’s an Earth-moving project so we can build our development there, “Regan said. “Part of the process of that development is removing (the coal).”

Aloe is petitioning South Fayette Township to grant it a variance for mineral removal because the property is zoned as a business district. The township is holding a public hearing inside the municipal building at 7 p.m. Wednesday to get feedback from residents and other affected parties.

The area that would be surface mined encompasses the lower property off Mayview Road that is surrounded by Chartiers Creek.

South Fayette Township Engineer Mike Benton did not have specifics on the proposal, although he said the project is “feasible.”

“They’re asking to do a full scale mining operation,” Benton said. “It sounds like it will be pretty extensive.”

He said the township is expecting a big crowd for the public hearing and plans to move it to the senior center on the other side of the municipal building. Benton was not sure if the South Fayette commissioners would make a decision on the variance Wednesday night.

“It’s hard to say right now,” Benton said of the outcome. “There are definitely a lot of unknowns and we don’t see this thing very often.”

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Mike Jones (Editor) February 26, 2013 at 01:45 PM
How do you feel about the coal mining proposal? Share your thoughts here in the comments section.
Adam Rossi February 26, 2013 at 02:23 PM
I "feel" like this is horrible. But I'm sure there are plenty of superiorly educated people who can explain how important this is that we mine the coal from there in the name of more development...
Patrick S February 26, 2013 at 03:12 PM
Obviously, no new development can be done without removing the coal first. That coal should be burnt and put in the air, like nature intended. Seriously, though...This will ruin the nearby nature preserve, pollute Chartiers Creek, and that's not to mention the awful eyesore that will be left as a result.
Kirk Wojno February 26, 2013 at 03:26 PM
Whatever they have to do to develop a sustainable area. New business = more tax revenue = lower res prop taxes (hopefully)
Bill February 26, 2013 at 03:32 PM
This sounds like surface mining, similar to what is going on the parkway west before the Robinson exit going out of town. They have been removing coal by that church for at least a year now.
Frank Sanns February 26, 2013 at 04:03 PM
Coal is the primary source of electricity in PA. If you want the lights to come on and your cell phone to work, you need electricity. The coal has to come from somewhere and some people have noise and dust in their back yards for a couple of years so it can be mined. I would not like it in my back yard but would tolerate in exchange for my lights coming on. This should be a wake up call for all of you that we need to have sources of energy that do not come from fossil fuels. I have been solar since the late 1990s and am not in need of mining or polluting the air. More people need to move to cost effective and efficient renewables that are proven to work. It is good for the people and for the land alike.
B February 26, 2013 at 04:16 PM
Posted this in USC Patch: I wouldn't trust them to say that their trucks aren't ever going to make the right out of the development and head to Upper St. Clair and Bridgeville roads thus also affecting those neighborhoods. Heavy truck traffic places a much larger amount of stress on roads and infrastructure than cars. The smallest CAT Mining truck has a target gross operating weight of 363,000 lb. In addition, are there going to be issues with using Mayview road to get from Boyce Road to the USC Rec Center and Bridgeville(and back)? I frequently use that road and don't want to worry about issues with access. Are they going to use the rail more often to haul the coal? The crossing on Mayview road has NO signal and could be very dangerous if rail traffic increases. Last... let's keep in mind the definition of 'surface mining' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surface_mining Do we want that area to be a massive strip mine? Lot's of questions for those SF and nearby residents.
m16800 February 26, 2013 at 07:53 PM
What a joke that is.. They tore those buildings down that were full of asbestos with out removing it before they wrecked the buildings..Im sure South Fayette is going to let them do what ever they want just like they did with wrecking the buildings.
Roger February 26, 2013 at 07:56 PM
Quoting: "... Heavy truck traffic places a much larger amount of stress on roads and infrastructure than cars. The smallest CAT Mining truck has a target gross operating weight of 363,000 lb." Do you really think that a mining truck would be on public roads? If you do, then it is time for some very basic education on how surface mining is done. We wouldn't want to interrupt access for anybody getting to the Rec Center. This should be of primary concern.
Roger February 26, 2013 at 07:58 PM
Quoting: "... and that's not to mention the awful eyesore that will be left as a result." Have you seen the plans for the development? If so, can you share the information, please? You must have some inside information to believe the development would be an eyesore.
j February 26, 2013 at 08:25 PM
"The area that would be surface mined encompasses the lower property off Mayview Road that is surrounded by Chartiers Creek." Isn't this all of the property? Including the nature conservation area?
Mike Jones (Editor) February 26, 2013 at 08:33 PM
@J... That's about 1/3 of the property that is surrounded by Chartiers Creek. Part of the Mayview property is in Upper St. Clair and being developed by that township. The other part of the property is on the other side of Mayview Road. There is a long and winding driveway that takes you up to the former geriatric Temple Center right next to Fairview Park. Those buildings up there have also been demolished, but I don't think that area is slated for strip mining.
Patrick S February 27, 2013 at 04:02 PM
Bryan, in my humble opinion, further developing that area (whether privately or by the township) at all will create an eyesore.
Patrick S February 27, 2013 at 04:37 PM
Sorry, Roger, not Bryan
Roger February 27, 2013 at 04:41 PM
As if the dilapidated buildings that have been there since the site was closed 10(?) years ago, and the piles of rubble now residing on the site are NOT an eyesore. Who has the site plans and development drawings that claim the outcome will be an eyesore? Lets see them, please?
Sean S. March 08, 2013 at 10:04 PM
Save the building. It has historic and architectural significance. Look what Rebeca Jordan has done with the Former Weston State Hospital. Open it up to historic and possible paranormal tours. The legacy of history is worth more than coal.

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