LIVING NEAR INDIANA COAL MINES

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  • WHATYOUNEEDTOKNOWABOUT

    LIVINGNEARINDIANACOALMINES

  • WhoShouldReadThisGuide?

    HomeBuyers/Owners LendingInstitutionsLandowners Developers

    LocalOfficials ConstructionDesignRealtors Companies

    CommunityPlanners ZoningBoardMembersEngineers LocalHealthDepts.

    InsuranceAgents

  • WhyYouShouldReadThisGuide

    ThisguideisprovidedbytheIndianaDivisionofReclamationtoinformthepublicandlocalofficialsaboutpotentialproblemsassociatedwithpreviouslyminedareas.Theseproblemsareassociatedwithbothundergroundandsurfaceminedsitesandcanresultin

    seriousdamagetoimprovements.

    Previouslyminedlandmayhavemanyattractivefeaturesfordevelopmentasresidential,industrialandrecreationalsites.Unfortunately,minedlandcanhavehiddendangers.Problemssuchas:dangerousmineopenings,unstablehighwalls,andunpredictablegroundmovementhaveresultedinseriousdamagestoimprovementsonthesesites.

    Additionalproblemscanresultfromsubsidence,minespoils,mineimpoundments,andlandslides.

    Thisguideisintendedtoprovidegeneralinformationaboutcommonproblemsassociatedwithpreviouslyminedareas.TheIndianaDivisionofReclamationalwayssuggests

    obtainingassistancefromaqualifiedengineerforspecificsiteevaluationbeforeyoubuyorbuildonpreviouslyminedland.Also,alistofresourcesisprovidedattheendofthis

    booklettohelpinobtainingadditionalinformation.

  • WhereAreIndianaCoalMines?

    Coalmines in Indiana are located in the southwest portion of the state.Coal has beenminedinthisregionforover150years,andisstillaveryimportantandvaluableactivitytoday.

    Withintheshadedregionabove,specificareasmayormaynothavebeenmined.Verysitespecificinformationisavailabletoeverypropertyownerviatheinternet.TheIndianaGeological Survey has produced a comprehensive Coal Mine Information System(CMIS)thatwillallowanyonetodetermineifanypieceofpropertyhasbeenminedforcoal.Informationonthedates,type,depthandextentoftheminingoperationisavailableformost coalmines thatoperated in the stateof Indiana. See the ImportantResourcessectionattheendofthisbooklet.

  • ProblemType:HIGHWALL

    Vertical rock faces, called highwalls, were sometimes left as the last cut of old stripmining operations. Some highwalls exceed 100 feet in height. Highwalls can behazardoustopeopleorstructures.

    HighwallSiteDevelopmentProblemsStructures built above or below highwalls may be damaged by slope failure or fallingrock.Highwalls are inherently unstable because blasting and heavymining equipmentused to create these vertical rock faces fracture and weaken the natural rock layers.Unstablehighwallserodeandcrumble.Thematerialontopfallsastherockcontinuestoweather. Injuries can result fromwalking aboveor belowhighwalls as rock faces givewaysuddenly.

  • ProblemType:SUBSIDENCE

    The room and pillar method of extracting coal from deep mines can result in minesubsidence when the pillars of coal and the roof supports in the mine can no longersupport the bedrock above themine. This loss of support is transferred to the groundsurface,which also drops, creating structural problems for houses, roads or utilities insubsidenceareasaswellaspublicsafetyconcernsonotherimprovedproperty.

    MineSubsidenceSiteDevelopmentProblemsBuilding homes, garages, roads, septic systems and other such features aboveundergroundminescanresult instructuralproblemsifsubsidenceoccurs.Buildingnearor above an abandonedundergroundmine, likemanyAMLareas, requires a thoroughreview to determine the subsidence potential and the need for stabilization beforeconstruction.

  • ProblemType:MINEOPENINGS

    Deep mines are entered through horizontal or sloped entrances (portals) or verticalopenings (shafts). Most mine openings have been permanently sealed and present nodanger.However, many openings were improperly filled or sealed and present a verysubstantial danger from the sudden collapse of the fill material or deterioration of theseal.Problemscan includethepresenceofmethanegasreleased fromthemine,or lowoxygenlevelsinthemineitself.

    MineOpeningsSiteDevelopmentProblemsMineopeningsmaybeeasytoseeortheymaybeconcealedbytrashfilling,yearsofvegetativegrowth,orpastlandscapingpractices.Problemswithbuildingnearmineentriescaninclude:foundationproblemsintheeventofacollapse,minedrainageseepageintofoundationareas,minedrainageseepagecancauseslopeinstability,andminegasemissionscancausetoxicorexplosivelevelsofminegases.Mineopeningsareanattractivenuisance,especiallytochildren.

  • ProblemType:MINESPOILandREFUSE

    Minespoilisintermixedunconsolidatedrock,rockfragmentsandsoilthatresultfromasurfaceminingoperation.Coalrefuseiswastecoalandcrushedrockimpuritiesleftasaresultofcoalprocessing.Initspostminingstate,minespoiland coal refuse, if not vegetated, can be highly erosive, and can be a source of significant sediment and acidminedrainagetostreams.

    MineSpoilSiteDevelopmentProblemsMinespoil issubjecttosettlingforyearsafterplacement,andcanbecomeveryunstableundercertaincircumstances.Buildings,septicsystemsandotherrigidstructureslocatedonminespoilmaysettle,moveorhaveleachateproblemsoveranextendedperiodoftime.Minespoilsmayreleasetoxicgasesintoconfinedareas.

  • ProblemType:MINEIMPOUNDMENTS

    Surfacemining forcoaloften leavesapit between the highwall faceand the last spoilremovedduringmining.Ifdrainageisblocked,thesepitsoftencontainwater,withdepthsranging from very shallow to extremely deep. These water filled pits may containabandoned mining equipment and are often attractive nuisances to recreationalenthusiasts.

    MineImpoundmentSiteDevelopmentProblemsFloodingofmineimpoundmentsispossibleunlessadequatewatercontrolstructureshavebeen built into the pit outlet. Impoundments will saturate surrounding spoil areas,potentially causing seeps and soil instability. Impoundments can be dangerous forswimmersduetoverysteepbanks,verticaldropoffsclosetoshore,unstablerockfaces,androcksbeneaththewater.

  • ProblemType:MINERELATEDLANDSLIDES

    The indiscriminateplacementofsteeplyslopedunconsolidatedminespoil,prevalentonabandonedsurfacemines,can result in landslides that impactexisting roads, structuresand streams. Drainage from underground mines and surface mine impoundments cansaturatenative,undisturbedsoilunitsandresultininstabilityoftheseslopes.

    LandslideSiteDevelopmentProblemsMine spoil may be unstable due to particle or rock size, subsurfacewater flow paths,pondingofsurfacewaterorminingmethod.Instability isoftennotvisibletothecasualobserveruntilaverywetyear.Structuresandroadsbuilteitheronthebenchwherespoilis removed, or near the bottom of a spoil slope may be damaged by a mine relatedlandslide. Landslides may cover structures or roads with dirt or rock, clog streamscausing flooding,ordisruptutilitiessuchaselectricortelephoneservice.Spoil isnotacompactedbaseforpurposesofconstructionandassuchmaynothavetheloadbearingcapacityofnormalundisturbedsoilsinthesameregion.

  • IMPORTANTRESOURCESTOHELPYOUDECIDE

    IndianaDivisionofReclamationR.R.#2Box129

    Jasonville,IN474388126652207

    http://www.in.gov/dnr/reclamation

    IndianaGeologicalSurveyCoalMineInformationSystem

    (Interactivemapsforallcoalmines)8128557636

    http://igs.indiana.edu/

    IndianaMineSubsidenceInsuranceProgram18003324674

    http://www.in.gov/idoi

    OtherLocalAssistanceMayBeObtainedFrom:(Seelocallistings)

    SoilandWaterConservationDistrictsandtheNaturalResourceConservationService

    Countyand/orCityEngineers

    Regional,CountyorCityPlanningAgencies

    CountyandCityHealthDepartments

    http://www.in.gov/dnr/reclamationhttp://igs.indiana.edu/http://www.state.in.us/idoi

  • TheIndianaDivisionofReclamationalwaysrecommendsthatthebuyer,owneror

    developercontactanexperienced,qualifiedengineeringfirm toassistinsiteevaluation

    whenpreviouslyminedlandisbeingconsideredfordevelopment.