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Tunnel Ridge 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.

Tunnel Ridge Mine is a longwall mine owned by Alliance Resource Partners. The Tunnel Ridge reserve area covers approximately 9,400 acres of coal under land located in Ohio County, West Virginia, and Washington County, Pennsylvania, with reserves of an estimated 70.5 million tons of high-sulfur coal. Operation is expected to begin in early 2012. When Alliance announced the mine in 2008, the company said it is expected to produce up to 6 million tons annually starting in 2012.[1]

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Mine Data

  • MSHA ID:
  • Operator: Tunnel Ridge, LLC
  • Controller: Alliance Resource Partners
  • Union:
  • County: Ohio
  • State: WV
  • Coordinates: 40.1500716,-80.7031356
  • 2010 Production (short tons): 174,000
  • Coal Type: High-sulfur
  • Mining Method: Underground
  • Equipment: Longwall
  • Mine Status: Active
  • Average No. of Employees: 100

Community passes anti-mining ordinance

On April 9, 2008, Alliance Resource Partners LP and units of Allegheny Energy Inc. filed a lawsuit against Donegal Township in Washington County, Pa., saying a new township ordinance endangers both its Tunnel Ridge Mine and Penn Ridge Mine longwall mining projects. The companies said that the township, in violation of the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution, passed an ordinance in December 2007 that seeks to ban mining in the township: "The Anti-Mining Ordinance has a substantial impact on interstate commerce because it has the effect of curbing the supply of coal, which is an important natural resource, at a time when demand for coal is growing substantially," said the plaintiffs. The lawsuit also said the ordinance violates the contracts and equal protection clauses, due process rights and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and is an illegal taking without adequate compensation against the companies.[2]

The anti-mining ordinance is called "An Ordinance to Protect the Health, Safety, and General Welfare of the Citizens and Natural Environment of Donegal Township By Banning Corporations from Engaging in Mining Within the Township; By Banning Corporate Ownership of Land and Mineral Estates Used for Mining Within the Township; By Banning Persons From Using Corporations to Engage in Mining; By Banning the Exercise of Certain Powers By Mining Corporations; By Recognizing the Rights of Ecosystems and Natural Communities; and By Providing for Enforcement of Those Rights." The lawsuit also disputes a companion anti-corporation ordinance enacted by the township. Alliance had obtained the reserves for the mines from Allegheny Energy and Allegheny Energy's Allegheny Pittsburgh Coal Co. unit in early 2000.[2]

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References

  1. "ARP: Northern Appalachia Mines" Alliance Resource Partners, accessed April 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Berry Cassell, "Alliance, Allegheny sue Pennsylvania township over anti-coal ordinance" SNL, June 5, 2008.