The Eastern Associated Coal LLC unit of Patriot Coal is seeking an Article 11/West Virginia National Pollutant Discharge Elimination water permit on a new deep mine to be located in Wyoming County, W.Va.
A Nov. 7 notice from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection said this permit is needed “in order to open and operate a new deep mine in the Eagle coal seam. Treated water and stormwater will discharge into unnamed tributaries of/and Toney Fork of Clear Fork of the Guyandotte River.” This was a Feb. 28 application, with no specific mine name given in the NPDES permit records. The notice marks the fact this application has moved from an agency field office to the main office for final approval.
Records at the DEP’s mining division show a separate Feb. 28 application by Eastern Associated Coal for the Eagle 6 deep mine at this same exact location, with that application still pending. That is the only pending mine permit application for Eastern Associated Coal.
Patriot Coal sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on July 9 and is continuing to operate while it reorganizes. Like other U.S. coal producers, it has cut production in recent months in the face of a tough coal market.