The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Pittsburgh is taking comment until Nov. 27 on an application by McElroy Coal, the operator of a Pittsburgh-seam longwall mine in northern West Virginia, for a Section 404 Clean Water Act permit for an expanded prep plant area.
The proposed project will be located in Marshall County, West Virginia, approximately 8.7 miles south of Moundsville, to the east of WV Route 2.
Said a Corps public notice: “The applicant proposes expansion of an existing coal prep plant raw coal stockpile and appurtenant storm water control structures, previously authorized by Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) Permit No. O- 1023-92. Coal will be transported to the proposed stockpile area from the adjacent McElroy mine. The expansion will allow for uninterrupted coal shipment in the event of mining interruption and uninterrupted mining if shipping is interrupted.
“The project area is approximately 20 acres and consists primarily of reclaimed slurry impoundment, on which wetlands have formed. The proposed activity will impact approximately 1,325 feet of stream channel, 3.36 acres of palustrine emergent wetland, 0.87 acre of palustrine scrub-shrub wetland and 0.04 acre of palustrine forested wetland. The applicant has proposed the purchase of mitigation bank credits or payment to an in-lieu fee fund to mitigate these impacts to aquatic resources.”
McElroy is one of the northern West Virginia longwall mines that Murray Energy bought in late 2013 from CONSOL Energy (NYSE: CNX). U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration data shows that McElroy produced 7.7 million tons in the first three quarters of this year and 10.4 million tons in all of 2014.