The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is taking public comment until June 16 on an air permit change being sought by Peabody Midwest Mining LLC to cover new equipment at its Bear Run strip mine at Carlisle, Ind.
The company, a subsidiary of the nation’s top coal producer, Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU), applied to add two conveyors, a screener, and a storage pile for the removal and storage of oversized material.
This is an open pit surface coal mining operation, approved for construction in 2005 and approved for increased production in 2010, with a maximum production rate of 15,918,500 tons of raw coal and coal refuse per year, combined, with fugitive emissions emitted to the atmosphere, including the following activities:
- two draglines, identified as Bucyrus Erie 2550 and Bucyrus Erie 2570-W, approved for construction and operation at the Bear Run mine in 2005 and 2010, respectively;
- removal and stockpiling of topsoil and subsoil layers using scrapers bulldozers, front-end loaders, haul trucks, and other machinery; and
- drilling and blasting of the rocky material (overburden) covering the coal seam; removal and stockpiling of overburden using two draglines, scrapers, bulldozers, front-end loaders, haul trucks, and other machinery.
Peabody has touted Bear Run, which went into first production in early 2010, as the biggest coal strip mine east of the Mississippi River. U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration data shows the mine produced 2 million tons in the first quarter of this year, 8.1 million tons in 2012, 6.6 million tons in 2011 and 3 million tons in 2010.