Yes, there is still active mining taking place by Falcon. Mildred No. 2 is on the right, just as you leave Bernice, going toward Lopez on 487. Incidental extraction means that coal is found, while construction or excavation is taking place. They're reclaiming that whole area, leveling out and filling in. I was up top for a forest fire seven or eight years ago, and we had to carefully navigate out after dark because of the pits. Today.. Most of them aren't there anymore, they've been filled in and turned into food plots or fields. They've been reclaiming for almost 15 years now.
In May, a Lancaster Co. company was paid over $770,000.00 to back fill the last pits up on top, and tear down the breaker. They have been dumping human waste from NYC and it's pretty well greened up. The smell is horrible, however, esp. if it gets muggy after rain. But where it was once shale and coal as far as the eye could see, is now green grass. I don't know which I like better, because I think the area could use the industry. When the Pastusic Mining operation closed, the owner said there was over 100 Million Tons that weren't mined, either by strip or deep mining. I don't know if it's that expansive, but my great grandfather was a miner in Bernice, died of black lung in fact. He said that when they stopped deep mining, there was a hell of a lot of coal that hadn't been touched. Hundreds of acres and many levels.
Somewhere around here I have glass plate negatives of them building the two breakers in Murraytown (the speckle of company homes on 487 halfway between Bernice and Lopez). One was claimed to be the largest in America.