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DEP awards $2.5 million grant to Decatur Township

Grant will help with homes threatened by mine subsidence

By: Deven Clarke and Ed Albert

DECATUR TOWNSHIP, Pa.--The Department of Environmental Protection has awarded a nearly $2.5 million grant to stabilize 60 homes in Decatur Township that are threatened by mine subsidence.

The project will drill holes around the affected homes and then inject grout in the voids.

The spaces could collapse and cause homes on the surface to do the same.

"The DEP office of surface mining and abandoned mines is going to do a drilling and a pumping operation to support the voids," said Decatur Township Supervisor Andrew Rebar Jr.

Rebar knows firsthand the danger not filling those voids can pose.

"There's a house on Summitt Lane, near Parsonage, that has caved in multiple times. One time it took five tandem loads of dirt to fill the void back in," Rebar said.

John Lukens' house is one that's in danger. He jumped at the opportunity to have the DEP pay to have his home stabilized.

"I believe it will make it safer. I don't want some day to have part of it crack or fall," Lukens said.

The DEP will inject up to 22,000 cubic yards of grout into nearly 315 drill holes.

The drilling and filling is supposed being this month and finish by the start of 2015.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times