Alpha unit seeks permit for expanded W.Va. coal refuse area

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Huntington, W.Va., is taking comment until July 28 on a Section 404 Clean Water Act application by Brooks Run Mining for the proposed discharge of fill material into waters of the United States.

The proposed discharge of fill material is in conjunction with the construction, operation and reclamation of the applicant’s Cucumber Run Refuse Expansion project, permitted by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) under mining permit U-4016-94, Incidental Boundary Revision No. 10, and under NPDES permit WV1016130, Modification 11.

The proposed project area is approximately 1 mile north of the community of Cucumber in McDowell County. Brooks Run Mining would expand an existing coal refuse disposal area (known as the Cucumber Refuse Expansion) that is currently being operated in conjunction with underground coal mining at its Cucumber Mine facility.

In the refuse expansion area, construction of a rock underdrain system would place 40 cubic yards of rock fill material into 1,352 linear feet of ephemeral and intermittent headwater stream channels. Construction of a temporary sediment control pond would place 17 cubic yards of earthen fill material into 443 feet of intermittent stream. The purpose of the proposed stream fill impacts is to facilitate continued extraction of metallurgical grade bituminous coal from the Cucumber underground Mine facility.

Brooks Run Mining is a unit of Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR). U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration data shows that the Cucumber mine produced 72,430 tons in the first quarter of this year and 257,891 tons in all of 2013.

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.