Buchanan Mine 1
Buchanan Mine #1 is an underground coal mining operation in Buchanan County, Virginia, operated by Consolidation Coal Company and owned by CONSOL Energy.
The mine returned to production on March 17, 2008, after being idled on July 9, 2007 because of a roof failure.
- MSHA ID: 4404856
- Operator: Consolidation Coal Company
- Controller: CONSOL Energy Inc
- County: Buchanan
- State: VA
- Latitude: 37.16
- Longitude: -81.99
- 2007 Production (short tons): 2,816,797
- Coal Type: Bituminous
- Mining Method: Underground
- Mine Status: Active
- Average No. of Employees: 440
2011: Consol to pay over $200 million in violations and upgrade Buchanan Mine
On March 14, 2011, CONSOL Energy announced it will spend $200 million on a treatment system for wastewater from three West Virginia coal mines, and pay the state and federal governments a total of $6 million to settle hundreds of alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. The federal fines, which will be split between the EPA and the state, totaled $5.5 million. Consol also agreed to pay the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources $500,000 for the damage to Dunkard Creek, a Monongahela River tributary that runs for 43 miles along the Pennsylvania-West Virginia border.
Though it denies its operations were responsible for the fish kill, Consol stopped discharging wastewater from its Blacksville 2 Mine after a September 2009 bloom of toxic golden algae killed countless fish, mussels, salamanders and other aquatic life. Investigators concluded that pollutants called total dissolved solids created conditions that helped that algae bloom flourish, choking off oxygen to the aquatic creatures. Although high levels of TDS have not been labeled a threat to human health, they can affect the taste and smell and drinking water.
EPA Region 3 Administrator Shawn Garvin said Consol's new network of pipelines and the reverse osmosis treatment plant it is building near Mannington will keep nearly 100 million pounds of TDS, including salts, out of the watershed each year. The system will treat water from the Blacksville 2 Mine, Loveridge 22 Mine and Robinson Run 95 Mine, and improve the overall health of rivers and streams. Consol's treatment plant must be online by May 2013 under the agreement. When finished, the plant should be able to treat 3,500 gallons of mine water per minute, eliminating an anticipated 95 percent of the pollutants. Consol is also planning to build a similar $100 million treatment facility for its Buchanan Mine 1 in Virginia.
The settlement covers alleged violations at six Consol operations over the past four years. The government cited chronic problems with chloride discharges into the Monongahela watershed from the Blacksville, Loveridge, Robinson Run and Four States mines, and into the Ohio River from the Shoemaker and Windsor mines.
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- "CONSOL Energy Annual Report through December 31, 2008" EDGAR Online, Filed February 17, 2009
- "Consol to pay $6M settlement in W.Va. water case" The Times Leader. March 14, 2011.
- "Major U.S. Coal Mines," Energy Information Administration