Abandoned Mine Reclamation Project Planned in Emery County


Press Release

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining’s Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program (AMRP) staff is seeking public comment on an upcoming project in Emery County. The project aims to repair a historic stone culvert on private land eight miles northwest of Huntington. Comments can be submitted to knay@utah.gov until Friday, June 21.

The Mohrland Culvert project will stabilize a historically significant culvert associated with the Mohrland coal mine facilities. The culvert was constructed in conjunction with the town of Mohrland and the United States Fuel Company mine, which was active from 1906 into the early 1940s. The culvert is an outstanding example of Utah coal country stonework, composed of roughly dressed sandstone block walls with a roof or deck of poured concrete reinforced with steel rail. The AMRP stabilized the culvert and stream bank in 1996 and 2017. It was damaged and structurally compromised during a high-intensity rain event in 2022.

The project involves removing flood debris using machinery and stabilizing the culvert by installing a concrete floor and sidewalls along its entire length. Without stabilization, continued erosion could lead to the culvert’s collapse and cause local flooding. During construction, Cedar Creek will be diverted around the culvert.

Work is expected to begin in July 2024. It is funded by the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement’s Abandoned Mine Land Fund, supported by a reclamation fee paid by Utah coal producers.

In 1907, Mohrland was the only coal camp in Emery County and employed 275 men. Without warning, the mine shut down in 1925. Although it reopened a year later, it struggled and was permanently closed during the 1930s depression. The Mohrland culvert has been determined eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

The AMRP protects the public from the dangers of old mines by sealing off access to openings and cleaning up waste. Old mining sites can contain dangerous gases, unstable structures, and explosives. For more information, visit amr.ogm.utah.gov.

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