The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Louisville, Ky., which rarely issues for comment lately Section 404 permit applications from the coal industry, will be taking comment until Nov. 2 on an application from Premier Elkhorn Coal LLC for a project on Tackett Hollow, located approximately two miles west of the community of Virgie in Pike County, Kentucky.
The company plans to construct one permanent excess disposal fill, one instream sediment control pond and three stream crossings associated with haul road construction as appurtenant structures and work for a new surface coal mining operation. The proposed project would result in discharges of fill and/or dredged material into “waters of the United States” on a site currently under review as Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA)- Kentucky Division of Mine Permits (KDMP) No. 898-0948.
The proposed mining operation would utilize surface area mining to extract approximately 3.3 million tons of marketable coal from the Elkhorn 1, Elkhorn 2, Elkhorn 3, Elkhorn 3.5 and Amburgy coal seams within a 280-acre mine area. The applicant proposes to construct one permanent hollow fill, one sediment control structure and three stream crossings associated with haul road construction. The proposed fill and pond would permanently impact 1,400 linear feet of perennial streams, and 1,580 linear feet of ephemeral streams. The proposed road crossings would impact 200 linear feet of perennial stream and 390 linear feet of ephemeral streams. In total, the project would impact 3,570 linear feet of streams.
The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration datebase shows Premier Elkhorn Coal, controlled by coal operator Jim Booth, with one active surface mine, three temporarily idled surface mines and the active Burke Branch Tipple. This is one of the TECO Coal operations that Booth purchased in 2015.