WPR News
9:09 am
Wed September 5, 2007

Rock Spring Residents Say Gas Seeping Into Houses

Laramie, WY – People who live near a mine reclamation project in Rock Springs say hydrogen sulfide gas has been seeping into their homes and making them ill. Residents of Ash Street say the gas got so bad they were forced to evacuate and spend a few days in a motel.

The project involved lifting 25-ton weights and dropping them on the ground to collapse old coal mines underlying the city. The goal was to eventually open for development 840 acres in the city. That area has been off-limits to building because of the mines.

But shortly after the project began July 17, homeowners complained that the shaking ground was severely damaging their homes. State officials called off the project Aug. 6.

Now the homeowners are saying that hydrogen sulfide is seeping out of the mines and up through their floors. Low-level exposure can cause sore throats, respiratory infections and other problems. State Abandoned Mine Lands officials could not be reached for
comment Tuesday.