The Frasure Creek Mining LLC unit of Trinity Coal is seeking an NPDES water permit from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection for the planned Taylor Branch No. 2 strip mine in Fayette County, said a March 21 DEP public notice.
The Taylor Branch No. 2 surface mine, to also be covered by mine permit S300311, will be in the Peerless, No. 2 Gas, Lower Campbell’s Creek, Powellton, Eagle A, Eagle and Little Eagle seams, as well as associated riders and seam splits. The DEP mine permitting database shows that the mine permit was applied for in January 2011 and was still pending as of March 21. This would be a 229-acre job using auger, contour, highwall miner and steep slope mining methods. The mine site is near Lochgelly.
This is one of eight applications that Frasure Creek has pending at the DEP’s mining division. Those applications are for the Mulberry Fork Haulroad, six strip mines and the Mandy Cline deep mine.
In December 2009, the DEP issued a mine permit for the 340-acre Taylor Branch strip job in Fayette County. A March 16 DEP site inspection report shows this Frasure Creek operation as “active, moving coal possible,” with only 35 acres of the permit area disturbed up to that point.
Frasure Creek parent Trinity Coal, one of the larger coal mine operators in Central Appalachia, has been controlled since 2010 by India’s Essar Group.