Quote of the Day - This case bristles with simplicity.
These holes are the result of strip-mine operations, and are everybit an eyesore. Lehigh Coal wants to fill one hole in Tamaqua (pronounced with all short vowels, "ta-ma-kwa") and restore the contour of the land. These PenWeb articles shed some light.
Lehigh's request doesn't sit well with local residents, who have formed an opposition group called Army for a Clean Environment. They don't want groundwater polluted or "fly ash" and coal sludge used as fill materials.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is working on using Tamaqua as a sort of "test site" for a workable resolution of this plan. New elections were recently held in Tamaqua, and the new City Council members appear posed to take on this dispute.
Good luck to everyone. I went to high school in this area, and have some sense of it's coal mining history. My ancestors came over from Wales to mine coal here, and there's no ready solution to these legacy problems.