Century Mine

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This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy. See here for help on adding material to CoalSwarm.

Century Mine is an underground coal mine in Beallsville, Ohio, owned by Murray Energy Corporation.

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Mine Data

  • MSHA ID: 3301070
  • Owner: Pepper Pike company
  • Parent company: Murray Energy Corporation
  • Location: Beallsville, Ohio
  • GPS coordinates: 39.89, -81.02
  • Production: 7,141,934 short tons
  • Type of coal: Bituminous
  • Mine type: Underground
  • Mine Status: Active
  • Number of employees: 450

2012: Miners told to march for Romney

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney visited the mine in August 2012 to promote jobs in the coal industry. Hundreds of coal miners and their families attended. It was later found that Murray Energy's Pepper Pike company told workers that attending the Romney event would be both mandatory and unpaid, a top company official said in a West Virginia radio interview.[1]

October 2010: Coal slurry leak

In October 2010, water contaminated with coal dust "spilled" for the fourth time since 2000 into a Belmont County creek that is home to an endangered salamander, Ohio state agencies reported. The coal slurry - water used to wash newly mined coal and filled with potentially toxic heavy metals - came from a pipeline that runs from Murray Energy's Century Mine across Captina Creek to the company's Ohio Valley coal waste slurry impoundment, said Mike Shelton, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The break occurred in a joint in the pipeline about 250 feet north of the creek in a hayfield, Shelton said, spilling slurry into the field and the creek.[2]

The Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) estimates the spill at about one quarter of a million gallons. According to the OEC, 7 leaks were found in Murray Energy's impoundment pond and two were in the pipeline, one in 2005 and then this 2010 spill. The 2005 pipeline spill cost Murray Energy $50,000 dollars in fines for killing thousands of fish and polluting a half mile of the same creek. In this spill, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division Spokesman Mike Shelton said, "so far 3500 fish and 850 other salamander, crayfish and frogs died in the creek."[3]

"The question is why does this keep happening, why does this company seem unwilling to change the way it does business?" said Nachy Kanfer, Spokesman for the Sierra Club, referring to Murray Energy's practice of pumping slurry through a pipeline only to be stored in a slurry pond indefinitely. Murray Energy was denied a permit to build a new slurry pond in 2008 by the Ohio EPA, now they have applied again for another permit to build a pond.[3]

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References

  1. Sabrina Eaton, "Coal miners lost pay when Mitt Romney visited their mine to promote coal jobs," The Plain Dealer, August 28, 2012.
  2. Doug Caruso, "Coal slurry spill threatens Belmont County creek" The Columbus Dispatch, Oct. 1, 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Rick Reitzel, "Ohio Coal Company Has A Large Coal Slurry Spill" NBC, Oct. 6, 2010.

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