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Pa. hopes to put out underground fire near airport

August 20, 2014
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pennsylvania officials hope to extinguish an underground coal waste fire burning near Pittsburgh International Airport.

The fire has been burning for several years and sits less than a quarter mile from a runway.

The state Department of Environmental Protection says smoke occasionally escapes, threatening air traffic.

Agency officials also say the fire is a threat to an airport radar facility and an underground gas pipeline.

The $1.4 million project is expected to start next month and take about a year, and involve firefighting foam and millions of gallons of water.

Workers will also remove more than 400,000 cubic yards of coal waste from the underground pile. The pile dates to the early 20th century.

Project funding comes from coal industry fees paid into the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Trust Fund.



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