The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Louisville, Ky., is out for public comment until Nov. 4 on a Section 404 Clean Water Act permit application from Western Kentucky Minerals for a new coal processing plant.
The 34.1-acre proposed project site is located west of the intersection of Bolings Road and State Highway 231 on the boundary of Ohio and Daviess counties in western Kentucky. “The applicant proposes to construct a 34.1-acre coal processing facility and associated haul roads, referred to as P Ridge Processing,” said a Corps public notice. “The project would involve the construction of a coal processing plant including coal stockpile areas and four sediment ponds with diversion ditches to direct runoff to the sediment basins. An existing open water pit (pond) would be used as a water source and final clarification pond for the coal washing operation. The proposed facility would impact 152 linear feet of intermittent tributaries (I-2US and I-4), 1,342 linear feet of ephemeral tributaries (E-1, E-2, E-3, E-4, and E-5), 0.324 acre of wetlands (Wet A, Wet B, Wet D, and Wet E), and 3.207 acres of open water (Pond 1). The open water would be filled during the reclamation phase.”
The company said that proposed impacts have been minimized to the maximum extent practicable while still allowing for the construction of the processing facility. The applicant stated that they would avoid impacts to 432 linear feet of intermittent tributaries (I-1, I-2DS, and I-3), 159 linear feet of an ephemeral tributary (E-6), and 0.364 acre of wetlands (Wet C1, Wet C2, and Wet F).
The company proposes the construction of onsite mitigation once the facility reaches its life span (10-year expectancy). The applicant proposes a variation of restoration and creation of streams and wetlands onsite to mitigate for impacts to the intermittent and ephemeral tributaries, and wetlands. Western Kentucky Minerals also proposes to fill Pond 1 for reclamation and mitigation activities. A smaller pond would be constructed during mitigation activities to replace the existing pond.
The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration database shows Western Kentucky Minerals as being controlled by Anthony Lanham. The company has three surface mines, and also the Joes Run Processing facility in Daviess County, listed with MSHA. The surface mines are:
- Joe’s Run, Daviess County, production of 97,827 tons in the first half of this year and 292,075 tons in all of 2012, down from 405,487 tons in all of 2011;
- North Knottsville, Daviess County, production start in the second quarter of 2012, with production of 103,089 tons during the rest of that year and 159,198 tons in the first half of this year; and
- P. Ridge-South Pit, Ohio County, new mine first listed with MSHA in September 2012 and with no recorded production yet.