Coal Valley is a mine in Harrison County, West Virginia, that was operated by Consol. The site was later bought by Targe Energy, which is mining small coal particles, or fines, from old coal waste ponds.
In May 2011, federal officials from the Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation found problems on the ground with the mine, where a "black water" coal waste spill happened in April 2011. OSM later found problems with the mine’s permit, which they have authority to examine. Although states like West Virginia have the power to oversee their own mining programs, OSM has the ability to inspect mines and issue what they call “10-day notices,” a power that the Obama Administration extended to permit defects.
When OSM inspectors visited Coal Valley, they found 21 deficiencies, and issued a 10-day notice to the Department of Environmental Protection. The report lists the problems at the site, and asks the DEP to respond within 10 days. Six of the issues were on the ground, like acid mine drainage. Fifteen were problems with the permit issued to Coal Valley by the DEP, many stemming from water management, which hinged on pumping water through a hole into an underground mine that was already full of water.
In response, Virginia’s Attorney General has expressed concern about the legality of the OSM’s power. The DEP can either make changes to the permit, or appeal the 10-day notice to the regional field office.
- Owner: Targe Energy
- Parent company:
- Location: Harrison County, West Virginia
- GPS coordinates:
- Type of coal:
- Mine type:
- Number of employees:
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- Erica Peterson, "New OSM procedure points out mine permit defects" West Virginia Public Broadcasting, May 6, 2011.
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