The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Pittsburgh is taking comment until Nov. 26 on a Section 404 Clean Water Act permit application from the Cumberland Coal Resources LP unit of Alpha Natural Resources related to a Pittsburgh-seam longwall mine in Greene County, Pa.
The permitting covers a new Coal Refuse Disposal Area (CRDA) No. 3, needed because existing CRDAs are about to run out of permitted space. This permitting would allow continued operation for the mine into the future.
U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration data shows that the Cumberland mine produced 5.4 million tons in the first three quarters of this year, and 7.4 million tons in all of 2014.
Notable is that Alpha Natural Resources is in the opening stages of Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. It has indicated a desire to reorganize around core operations, with some shut and about-to-be-shut mines that it wants to sell at auction. Cumberland was not among those to-be-sold assets.