The Kansas Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Emergency Program provides for the remediation of sites that are an immediate threat to the health and safety of the general public. These problems require prompt action and therefore cannot be reclaimed through ordinary AML procedures. Most emergency situations are abated within 24 to 48 hours after notification of the problem. Emergencies are usually the result of mine subsidence in and around the communities of Pittsburg, Weir, and Scammon, Kansas. Typical abatement activities include backfilling mine subsidence holes in residential areas and near roads, along with filling subsurface voids beneath structures and roads with cement grout.
Emergency Response in Pittsburg
At 3 pm on Friday, August 3, 2018, the KDHE Surface Mining Unit (SMU) received a call from a Pittsburg homeowner that the corner of their house and patio was sinking. By 3:15 SMU staff conducted an investigation and found a sixteeen-foot diameter hole, approximately seven to eight feet deep, affecting the northwest corner of the house and adjoining patio. The SMU declared an emergency.
The State's emergency response contractor was on-site within the hour. Initial stabilization was completed by 5 pm and consisted of gravity flowing 20 cubic yards of concrete grout into the opening. The following week, the contractor removed the patio slab and backfilled the remaining hole with small rock (AB-3). Heavy angle iron and some new joists were used to stabilize the exposed floor joists.