Amerikohl Proposes New Surface Mine in Fayette County

As part of the Revtai Government Financed Construction Project, Amerikohl is proposing a new strip mine in Fayette County near Melcroft PA. The project is taking place in an area that experienced surface mining decades ago, so part of the project is considered remediation of past damages. As a result, Amerikohl is applying to strip mine as part of a Government Financed Construction Contract (GFCC). As a GFCC, the project is exempted from the permitting process and requirements typically required by the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act.

The GFCC program provides significant state subsidies in order to incentivize reclamation projects.  Not only does the program provide direct subsidies to the applicant, it also provides other financial incentives. For example, it allows the applicant to remove and sell any coal that is extracted “incidentally” during the remediation process and, as previously mentioned, forgo certain permitting aspects that might otherwise be costly. In this case, Amerikohl plans to remediate an abandoned highwall and extract 38,420 tons of coal.

Despite proposed remediation efforts, the project is of great concern because the proposed permit boundaries for the Revtai GFCC are incredibly close to, and in some places even cut into, the abandoned Melcroft No. 1 Mine. For decades, there have been two primary sources of abandoned mine drainage from the Melcroft No. 1 Mine that have polluted our watershed. Yet over the years, Mountain Watershed Association has worked to construct and maintain two passive treatment systems that help ensure the contaminated water from Melcroft #1 is cleaned before it joins the rest of the local ecosystem.

However, the proposed Revtai GFCC project has the potential to increase existing discharges. If that happens, the water could then spread contamination throughout the watershed, including Indian Creek which makes up part of our public drinking water supply. In addition, the Revtai GFCC project could result in new discharges in the watershed, especially in the area close to the coal cropline along Albright Road in Melcroft. This area already experiences significant flooding that makes travel along that road difficult, and new discharges could worsen this problem.

There will be an opportunity for the public to learn more about the proposed Revtai GFCC project and make comments at an upcoming public hearing hosted by the Department of Environmental Protection on Wednesday, December 12th at 1pm at the Saltlick Municipal Building at 147 Municipal Building Road, Melcroft, PA 15462. Anyone who would like to make a public comment at the hearing must register at least one day in advance by contacting DEP’s community relations coordinator Lauren Fraley at or 412-442-4203. Those who did not register will be given the opportunity to testify only if time permits.


If you enjoy living near or recreating in the Indian Creek Valley watershed please come voice your concerns about the proposed mine project. If you are unable to make the hearing but would like to learn more, please feel free to contact Ashley at Mountain Watershed Association at or 724-455-4200×6#.


WHAT: Public Hearing on Revtai Government Financed Construction Project

WHEN: Wednesday, December 12th at 1pm

WHERE: Saltlick Municipal Building, 147 Municipal Building Rd, Melcroft PA


Pictured: The Kalp abandoned mine discharge treatment system in Melcroft. The Revtai project could create new untreated discharges in the area.