Assisting Patriot Coal in the analysis of a pending 404 permit.
Client: Patriot Coal
Time Span: 2011 - 2015
Location: Madison, West Virginia
RESPEC assisted Patriot Coal in the analysis of the pending 404 permit that was under review by the US Corps of Engineers (USACE) to evaluate alternative mine designs that could reduce the impacts of the mine. Working with the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the USACE, RESPEC revised the mine plan to significantly reduce stream impacts while still mining 91 percent of the originally proposed coal tonnage. The stream impacts were reduced to 48 percent of the original plan, and the permit area was reduced to 82 percent of the original permit. The revised design eliminated filling Stonecoal Branch and proposed deed restrictions to preclude future impacts to that stream.
The permitting process included developing an adaptive management plan that defined specific actions to be taken when noticeable changes were observed in the water quality monitoring data. RESPEC made specific revisions to the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) permit to reflect the approved 404 design.