Corps seeks comment on Nally coal mine project in eastern Kentucky

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Nashville, Tenn., is taking public comment until Aug. 19 on a Section 404 Clean Water Act application from Nally and Hamilton Enterprises for the proposed Kayjay #6 surface coal mine, located on tributaries to Oatfield Branch and Centers Branch Mill in Bell and Knox counties, Ky.

Impacts to waters of the U.S. would total 6,250 linear feet of stream. The proposed mining project would result in permanent impacts to 285 linear feet of ephemeral stream, 822 linear feet of intermittent stream and 2,152 linear feet of perennial stream to facilitate the storage of excess spoil material in a hollow fill structure, identified as HF 1. The project would result in impacts to 450 linear feet of perennial stream to facilitate the construction of a sediment retention pond. Approximately 66 linear feet of ephemeral stream, 1,710 linear feet of intermittent stream and 300 linear feet of perennial stream would receive indirect impacts from use as sediment transport corridors to facilitate mine through activities and construction of HF 1. Impacts to 465 linear feet of intermittent stream would occur as a result of surface mining activities along the Fireclay, Fireclay Rider, Jackrock and Hamlin 5A coal seams.

Based on information submitted in the project application, the applicant has proposed to minimize the placement of fill into waters of the U.S. by utilizing existing mining benches to place spoil material and by limiting the storage of excess spoil to one hollow fill structure, the Corps said in a public notice. To compensate for impacts to 4,474 linear feet of stream, the applicant is proposing a combination of onsite stream restoration and the purchase of credits from an in-lieu fee program.

Minimizing of the fill area is one of the key things coal producers have had to do lately to get Section 404 permits through the Corps. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which advises the Corps on this permitting, under the Obama Administration has taken a get-tough approach to these projects. 

Nally and Hamilton, controlled by Thomas Hamilton, is one of the larger independent coal producers in eastern Kentucky.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.