The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be taking comment until March 12 on a Section 404 Clean Water Act application from the SITran LLC affiliate of coal producer Foresight Energy that covers new barge fleeting area for a rail-to-barge terminal built in recent years on the Ohio River.
The current Corps-issued permit authorized the West Franklin Coal Transfer Facility at River Mile 817.5 and a fleeting area from River Mile 818 to 819 on the right bank of the Ohio River in Posey County, Indiana. “The proposed project would modify DA Permit LRL-2009-1210 to expand the existing fleeting area further downstream from Ohio River Mile 819.6 to 820.2,” said a Corps notice. “The existing fleeting area holds 90 barges and the proposed fleeting would hold an additional 90 barges, for a total of 180 barges. The barges in the proposed fleeting area would be in the same configuration and have the same mooring as the existing fleeting area.
“The proposed fleeting area would hold a maximum of 90 barges in 3 separate fleets each with a maximum capacity of 30 barges per fleet, held in a 6 wide by 5 long configuration. The fleeting area would extend along 3,325 linear feet of shoreline and the maximum riverward projection of the fleeting area at normal pool would be 270 feet.”
Foresight Energy is a major producer of high-sulfur coal out of several underground mines in Illinois. Some of that coal is shipped via rail to the SITran facility for loading to barge. Said the Foresight Energy website: “River access allows our coal to efficiently reach the segment of the domestic utility industry that accept coal deliveries by barge. We ship coal to the river through the Sitran River Terminal, a 25 million tons per year barge facility on the Ohio River owned by Foresight Reserves, as well as other river ports.”