Robinson Run 95 Mine
Robinson Run No 95 Mine is an underground operation in Shinnston, WV, owned by CONSOL Energy.
- MSHA ID: 4601318
- Operator: Consolidation Coal Company
- Controller: CONSOL Energy Inc
- Union: UMWA
- County: Marion
- State: WV
- Latitude: 39.4
- Longitude: -80.36
- 2007 Production (short tons): 6,502,004
- Coal Type: Bituminous
- Mining Method: Underground
- Mine Status: Active
- Average No. of Employees: 517
2011: Consol to pay over $200 million in Clean Water violations at six operations
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.
Coal slurry dam collapse
The waste from the mine goes to the the Nolan Run impoundment near Lumberport, which stretches a half-mile across and holds about 2 billion gallons of water and slurry. On Nov 30, 2012, a worker on a bulldozer fell into the embankment when part of the saddle dike collapsed, which CONSOL was building to help raise the overall height of the facility to accommodate more slurry. A week later the worker had not been found and was presumed dead. Federal and state records showed previous questions about stability and leaks at the Nolan Run impoundment, and outlined company concerns that construction to enlarge the dump had not been moving fast enough to keep up with slurry waste generated by the nearby Robinson Run Mine.
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To see a listing of coal mines in a particular state, click on the map:
- "Consol to pay $6M settlement in W.Va. water case" The Times Leader. March 14, 2011.
- Ken Ward Jr., "Harrison County impoundment had previous problems, records show," Charleston Gazette, Dec 5, 2012.
- "Major U.S. Coal Mines," Energy Information Administration