CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Crews are working to fill a large hole that has opened near several homes in Midlothian, according to officials with the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME).
The opening is related to a mining shaft linked to the Aetna Hill coal mines that operated in the ara from 1798 and the mid-1800s, according to officials with DMME.
“When we saw the number of residences in this area of Chesterfield County, we knew we had to act fast,” Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Projects Manager Lesa Baker said. “Our priority is the safety of Virginians and we wanted to make sure we did what we could to protect nearby residents from the effects of coal mines that operated centuries ago.”
The state agency is overseeing a $238,100 AML grant that will fill and seal the opening. That money comes from fees paid by the coal industry on each ton of coal mined.
The Priority One project, which means that it "poses significant safety harm," will use concrete and steel mesh to reclaim the subsidence before the area is covered with soil and seeded.
"It is considered a Priority One project meaning that it poses significant safety harm," officials said.
Work started this week and the project is expected to be completed in September.
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