The Catenary Coal Co. LLC unit of Patriot Coal (NYSE: PCX) is pursuing an Article 11/West Virginia National Pollutant Discharge Elimination water permit from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection for a new surface mine in Boone and Kanawha counties.
The DEP said in a May 23 public notice that this permit is needed “in order to open and operate a coal surface mine (SMA S303107 – ‘Moccasin North Surface Mine’) including contour mining methods in the 5-Block, Lower 5-Block, Upper Clarion and Clarion seams of coal and to discharge treated water and stormwater runoff therefrom into unnamed tributaries of/and Left Fork of Laurel Fork of Coal Fork of Cabin Creek; and unnamed tributaries of/and Moccasin Hollow of Left Fork White Oak Creek of White Oak Creek of the Big Coal River of the Coal River – all of the Kanawha River.”
Catenary Coal applied separately in October 2007 at the DEP for a mine permit on this 116-acre job, with that application still pending. The DEP database shows that application was resubmitted on May 15 after the latest round of corrections, with several steps to go before permit approval. The only other pending mine permit application for Catenary Coal was filed in January 2007 for the 817-acre Witcher Creek strip job, located near Tad in Kanawha County.
Witcher Creek, by the way, has been listed with the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration under Catenary Coal since August 2009, with no recorded production yet. The primary Catenary Coal operation is the Samples surface mine.