Clean-up continues after coal mining accident floods Fayette County community

An accident at a coal mining site floods a Fayette County community.
An accident at a coal mining site floods a Fayette County community.(Lisa Hierl-Johnston)
Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 1:36 PM EDT
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PAGE, W.Va. (WVVA) - An accident at a coal mining site flooded a Fayette County Community on August 24th.

It happened along Route 61 in Page at a mining operation owned by Resliient Mining.

Fayette County Commission Pres. Allison Taylor said she was told the accident may have been caused by a high wall machine cutting into an abandoned mine shaft. She said some standing pools drained which caused the second rush of water into the community. A couple of residents have reported property damage, including one homeowner who had contaminated well water as a result.

Crews could be seen cleaning at least two homes with yards covered with sludge on Thursday.

A spokesperson for the W.Va. Dept. of Environmental Protection has released the following statement on the incident:

“On Aug. 24, Resilient Mining notified the WVDEP that it had cut into underground mine works during the course of its permitted operations, which caused a release of water (not coal slurry) from the underground mine that overwhelmed a sediment ditch.When the incident occurred, a rush of water left the permit area and went down Glenco Hollow and overwhelmed the culvert under county route 61. This caused water to back up over county route 61 and impact several citizens’ yards with mud and debris. WVDEP staff immediately responded to the incident and observed that the discharge was under control and a sediment ditch had been reestablished. The agency issued an Imminent Harm Cessation Order.”

“WVDEP staff also conducted a stream assessment and took samples from the point of discharge and several points instream. The results of the collected samples are still pending, but field findings on the days of our investigations showed multiple aquatic life specimens present in the stream.Resilient Mining staff has been onsite since the incident and working to clean up and repair residents’ yards and driveways, as well as any access roads and parking lots that were impacted.”