The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Huntington, W.Va., is taking public comment until April 10 on an application by Rosebud Mining for a Section 404 Clean Water Act permit for the Steele Portal coal mine project in Tuscarawas County, Ohio.
The proposed project area is approximately 43 acres in size and is located within unnamed tributaries to Stillwater Creek in Mill Township. The company proposes to discharge 461 cubic yards of fill material into 251 linear feet of ephemeral stream channel and 2,780 linear feet of intermittent stream channel for the operation of an underground mining operation, the Corps said in a public notice.
It is anticipated that the underground mining operation will take 15 years to complete. Proposed discharges would occur in conjunction with state coal mining permit application D-2177-4 that was approved by the Ohio Division of Natural Resources, Division of Mineral Resources Management in May 2012.
Rosebud developed three alternatives (preferred, minimal, and no-impact) analyzing how attendant facilities used to support the underground mining operation, as well as the discharge of fill material into streams, could be placed in order to avoid and minimize impacts to aquatic resources while still fulfilling the applicant’s project purpose. The applicant’s alternatives analysis is currently being reviewed. No permit will be issued unless the alternatives analysis clearly demonstrates that practicable upland alternatives are not available to achieve the overall project purpose, the Corps noted.