Roaring Creek Coal seeks permit for West Virginia mine complex

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Pittsburgh is taking comment until Feb. 28 on an application by Roaring Creek Coal Co. for a Section 404 Clean Water Act permit for a coal mining complex in Randolph County, W.Va.

The Roaring Creek Coal Mining Complex (RCCMC) is proposed to be constructed near Ellamore in Randolph County, within the Brook Run watershed. Brook Run flows to Laurel Creek, to Middle Fork River, to Tygart River, to the West Fork River, a major tributary to the Monongahela River.

The proposed RCCMC, designed to access the Sewell coal seam, will disturb approximately 313 acres of land, which includes the construction of two coal refuse piles, a slurry impoundment, a coarse refuse fill, a preparation plant, a conveyor line, a rail line, a mine shaft, an air shaft and a portal, said a Corps notice. The Sewell seam at this location holds a high-quality metallurgical coal.

Roaring Creek Coal has explored several refuse disposal design alternatives to avoid aquatic resource impacts, the Corps noted. “Non-impounding embankment designs explored include a valley fill, a cross-valley design, a side hill design, and a heaped design. Impounding embankment designs explored include a cross valley, a side hill design, a diked impoundment, and an incised pond design. A no-build alternative was also explored along with several on-site and off-site alternate locations for the two refuse impoundments.

Records at the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s mining division shows that Roaring Creek Coal is nearing a permit for a 313-acre refuse area, and that it got permits in 2011 for a prep plant and a Sewell-seam deep mine, with the mine currently classified as inactive.

Roaring Creek Coal is a unit of Tennessee-based United Coal, which is controlled by international commodities producer Metinvest.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.