Lehigh Cement submitted an application to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to connect two separate mine permits north of Route 248 on the Nazareth-Upper Nazareth Township border, reported local media. The company is seeking permission for a 68.7 acre increase in quarry mining activity.
As part of the proposed expansion, Lehigh Cement stated in its application that the company "plans to demolish the structures occupying the proposed expansion areas in order to mine the area beneath. Lehigh is requesting the possibility to reuse the appropriate construction materials as backfill in the upper levels of the quarry."
"The area to be added to the permit was affected by previous mining and also includes the Nazareth Plant III Cement Plant," the company wrote in the DEP application. "Mining activities will progress from the existing Nazareth Plant II Quarry working west to east towards the Nazareth Plant III Quarry. Initial mining will continue to be conducted in the Nazareth Plant II Quarry and will incrementally expand east."
The Pennsylvania DEP is accepting written comments, objections or a request for public hearing or informal conference on the proposed expansion until Dec. 28. They may be sent to: PA DEP, Pottsville District Mining Office, 5 W. Laurel Blvd., Pottsville, PA 17901 and must include the commenter’s name, address, telephone number, and a brief statement on the nature of any objection.