Harrisburg University of Science and Technology will continue its mine mapping work for the state, thanks to a new grant.
The state Department of Environmental Protection has awarded the university’s Geospatial Technology Center a new $661,629 mine mapping grant, one of three recipients sharing about $2.3 million.
The new funding follows five years of state mapping work at HU, bringing the university’s total grant award to $1.4 million. The geospatial team of students is responsible for helping to create a digital inventory of historic maps of abandoned underground coal mines in Pennsylvania.
DEP’s goal is to help homeowners and local governments identify where mine subsidence could occur and damage properties. Up-to-date mine maps also can help developers who are looking to build in historic mining areas of Pennsylvania or companies developing oil and gas resources.
“Pennsylvania’s mining heritage is a proud one, but it’s also one that didn’t come with electronic GIS maps. By digitizing the maps that DEP has, and continues to find, we can get a better, more complete view of where mines are under Pennsylvania,” DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell said in a recent statement.
Other grants were awarded to Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. This grant money is expected to help preserve thousands of mine maps.