Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition


Brushy Fork Slurry Impoundment Report

Is a coal slurry impoundment disaster coming to a community near you?



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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