Ohio coal producer B & N Coal is seeking a Section 404 Clean Water Act permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a proposed project that is located within unnamed tributaries and wetlands to the East Fork of Duck Creek within the Little Muskingum-Middle Island watershed in Noble County, Ohio.
“The applicant proposes to discharge 929 cubic yards of fill material into 9,844 linear feet of intermittent and ephemeral stream and 0.09 acre of wetland,” said a notice from the Corps office in Huntington, W.Va. “Fill discharge would be required to accomplish coal extraction (mine through), construction of permanent and temporary dams for sediment ponds, haul road construction and rock channel protection. Each discharge location and purpose is identified in Exhibit 2 (LRH- 2009-988-East Fork Duck Creek Proposed discharges of fill material into waters of the United States).”
The Corps is taking public comment until Dec. 13 on this application, covering the 248.7-acre Whigville IV surface mine project.
Discharges would occur in conjunction with the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act permit D-2332-1, once it is approved by the Ohio Division of Mineral Resources Management. The applicant’s stated overall project purpose is to develop and mine coal reserves in the Meigs Creek No. 9 coal seam.
B & N reviewed multiple mining methods for the project, including deep mining, area mining, contour mining with three alternative highwall elevations, and a combination highwall/auger mining method. The company determined that contour mining was the preferred method with the final highwall elevation selected to provide both acceptable resource recovery rate and strip ratios.