Brushy Fork Sludge Impoundment
Summer Solstice Sludge Tour (page 1)
Photos by Vivian Stockman
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(4 pictures per page)
On June 21, 2001, some members of OVEC and Coal River Mountain
Watch toured the massive 645 acre Brushy Fork coal slurry impoundment.
Brushy Fork Slurry Impoundment, operated by Marfolk
Coal, a subsidiary of Massey Energy, is located in extreme westernmost
Raleigh County, West Virginia. Brushy Fork is a tributary of Little Marsh Fork, that flows
into Marsh Fork, comprising part of the
headwaters of the Coal River upstream of Whitesville.
The Brushy Fork Slurry Lake - photo taken from the crest of the dam.
Upstream face of waste rock dam in foreground, strip bench in
background. Allowing mining to continue, including blasting to remove
overburden was a point of contention from citizens. Finally, in
December 2000, DEP ordered a seismic monitoring program in the
underlying deep mine, long after blasting had commenced.
Denuded area of the forest represents the planned area of expansion on
the Brushy Fork permit, where eventually Marfork wants to deposit
additional waste rock and slurry.
Slurry line, that brings slurry process wastewater with many fine
grained materials from the prep plant and coal cleaning efforts,
depositing the slurry into the pond, beginning the settling process
where the fines settle into sludge, and water is later reused.
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