Coal company to pay big fine, build new pipeline, July 10, 2012
From endangered hellbender salamanders to fish and frogs, more than 4,300 aquatic animals died on October 1, 2010, as a result of the American Energy Corp. coal slurry spill in a tributary of Captina Creek in southern Belmont County.
5/25/2011 - http://www.theintelligencer.net/page/content.detail/id/555419/Mine-Is-In-Compliance-Over-Slurry.html?nav=515 (Excerpt) "They have flow meters at the beginning and ends of the line. In the event a problem is detected, the line now automatically shuts off to prevent further spill," Kosek said, noting this was not the case at the time of the Oct. 1 accident.
According to an April 2010 Ohio EPA report (http://bit.ly/9NT72H), the agency has documented at least seven slurry releases from the Ohio Valley Coal Company‟s waste lagoon into Captina Creek since 1999. The last slurry release on Feb. 28, 2008 discolored more than 22 miles of Captina Creek until the creek emptied into the Ohio River.
$91,000 Slurry Spill Fine Appealed
http://www.news-register.net/page/content.detail/id/554282/-91-000-Slurry-Spill-Fine-Appealed.html?nav=515 (Excerpts) ...American Energy submitted a permit-to-install application for a new slurry pipeline on March 31, noting Ohio EPA staff members are now reviewing the application.
10/4/10 - http://www.wtov9.com/news/25275772/detail.html
(Excerpt) Officials said the same pipe burst in 2005. At that time, a deteriorating elbow joint ruptured and 30,000 gallons of sludge was released into the creek. After that, owner Murray Energy was required to regularly inspect the pipelines and a prevention plan was drafted. "It was a spill control and prevention plan and what that laid out was how the company should react in the event of another spill," said Mike Shelton of the ODNR. (also see the video)
10/1/10 - http://www.wtov9.com/news/25242447/detail.html (Excerpt) According to a news release from American Energy Corp., about 6 a.m. Friday, AEC officials became aware of "the release... Officials said the pipe burst due to extreme pressure. (See the video)
http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/01/24/CaseyRun.ART_ART_01-24-10_B1_84GCPDS.html (Excerpt) Murray Energy has been seeking permission to build a new slurry lagoon in the area, but its plans have met with resistance from the Ohio EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Both agencies have urged the company to come up with alternatives to storing the slurry in lagoons, perhaps by injecting it into unused portions of mines or removing much of the water before the solids are stored.
The EPA, in rejecting the original plan, said the plan, saying the slurry would threaten a pristine stream.
"It is our sincere hope that, through a collaborative approach between the state, our federal partners and the company, we can solve this challenge," states a November 24, 2008 letter to Murray Energy signed by Ohio EPA Director Chris Korleski and Natural Resources Director Sean Logan.
At the same time, Korleski and Logan are expected to appear at a state Senate committee meeting today to oppose a bill that would strip the Ohio EPA's power to limit water pollution from coal mines and give it to Natural Resources.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a critic of state mining policies, describes the bill as an attempt to help Murray Energy build the lagoon. The bill's sponsors, however, say the bill is intended to end long waiting periods for new mine permits.