The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Huntington, W.Va., will be taking public comment until April 30 on an application by Oxford Mining Co. LLC for a Section 404 Clean Water Act permit on the Shugert South strip coal mine project in Belmont County, Ohio.
A Corps public notice said that this project involves mining of the #9 Meigs and #11 Waynesburg coal seams. The mine location is on unnamed tributaries of Stillwater Creek, about one mile southwest of Morristown. The mining will involve discharge of fill material into seven streams under Corps jurisdiction. One wetland area would also be affected. Various mitigation measures will be undertaken to compensate for mining impacts.
The Huntington office of the Corps has been the most impacted of any Corps office nationwide by a series of environmental group lawsuits over Section 404 permitting. But most of that legal firepower has been directed at areas in southern West Virginia handled by this office, with Ohio permitting relatively lightly impacted.
A lot of pending mine permit applications at the Ohio Division of Mineral Resources, updated to March 31, shows that an application for Shugert South mine is one of 20 applications pending from Oxford Mining. The Shugert South application, for a 265.6-acre mine area, was filed on Jan. 18. Coal mines need multiple permits from several agencies.
Oxford Mining is a unit of Oxford Resource Partners (NYSE: OXF), which produces primarily steam coal from multiple mines in Ohio that is sold to customers like American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP). The parent company also has mining operations in western Kentucky.