Plan to mine coal beneath South Park abandoned

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Allegheny County will not pursue a plan to mine coal beneath the old fairgrounds at South Park.

Sue Means, a county council member-elect from Bethel Park, said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald told the Friends of South Park Wednesday night that mining beneath the proposed South Park site isn't economical.

The coal seam was deeper than expected, buried 55 feet beneath the ground instead of the expected 5, Ms. Means said. That meant mining would disturb a complex drainage system already in place underneath the Oval, an expensive prospect.

Mr. Fitzgerald estimated the project would only bring the county $300,000, Ms. Means said.

The news came as a relief to the Friends, who gave Mr. Fitzgerald the go-ahead to investigate the project further and subsequently received a deluge of calls from concerned residents.

"People were relieved and happy," Ms. Means said. "No one was upset."


Andrew McGill: amcgill@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1497.

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