W.Va. Regulators Halt Mine Near Kanawha State Forest

Jun 5, 2015

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protect has closed down a mountaintop removal mine site located near a state forest in Kanawha County and is now blocking the mine operators from receiving new permits anywhere in the country. 

The DEP issued the cessation order Friday after 13 months of mining at the KD Mine #2. It’s located adjacent to the Kanawha State Forest outside of Charleston. 

A release from the agency said after a series of violations, they have also entered the mine’s operators- Revelation Energy and Keystone Development- into the national Applicant Violator System. The national database will prevent the companies from ever holding another mining permit in the United States.

In a news release, the DEP said since the mine began operating in May 2014, the agency has issued 20 violations for various problems at the surface mine, including failure to meet monitoring and sampling requirements and exceeding both blasting and water quality discharge limits.

“Our mining program has been very diligent about monitoring this site," DEP Secretary Randy Huffman said in a written statement. "Because of the close proximity to the forest, we have gone above and beyond the normal regulatory requirements for both permitting and inspection enforcement."

Revelation and Keystone could have their names removed from the national database that forbids them from mining, and have their cessation order at the KD #2 site lifted, if they submit and the West Virginia DEP approves a plan to abate the violations and reclaim the site.

A spokesperson for the DEP said in an email Friday the company was already in “reclamation mode,” but had recently removed all of their equipment from the site.

“The failure to abate CO is a formal declaration from DEP that no activity at the site can occur without approval from this agency,” DEP spokesman Jake Glance said.