The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said in a March 30 public notice that it is taking comment on a proposed Article 11/West Virginia National Pollutant Discharge Elimination water permit for a new Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR) deep mine in Wyoming County.
The permit, being pursued by Alpha’s Riverside Energy Co. LLC unit, is needed “in order to open and operate the Westigan No. 2 Mine and haulroad in the Pocahontas No. 6 seam/mineral bed,” said the notice. “This operation will discharge treated water and stormwater runoff into an un-named tributary of Still Run of the Guyandotte River.”
The DEP database shows that a mine permit, which is needed along with this water permit, was applied for in August 2009 for Westigan No. 2. That application, for a room-and-pillar job in the Pocahontas No. 6 seam, which is a high quality metallurgical coal seam, is still pending. The only other pending application by Riverside at the DEP’s mining division was filed Feb. 24 for the Horse Creek Haul Road located near Fanrock in McDowell County.
The only two mines listed with the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration under Riverside are Westigan No. 2 and the War Branch No. 2 deep mine in McDowell County, both of which are classified as new mines with no recorded production yet. The DEP issued a mine permit for War Branch No. 2, a room-and-pillar job in the Douglas coal seam, in 2005. The mine site is near Iaeger. A Feb. 7 DEP site inspection report shows the War Branch No. 2 operation as “not started.”